Monday, December 6, 2021

Book Review | To Write a Wrong


Miss Daphne Beekman is a mystery writer by day, inquiry agent by night. Known for her ability to puzzle out plots, she prefers working behind the scenes for the Bleecker Street Inquiry Agency, staying well away from danger. However, Daphne soon finds herself in the thick of an attempted murder case she's determined to solve.

Mr. Herman Henderson is also a mystery writer, but unlike the dashing heroes he pens, he lives a quiet life, determined to avoid the fate of his adventurous parents, who perished on an expedition when he was a child. But when he experiences numerous attempts on his life, he seeks out the services of the eccentric Bleecker Street Inquiry Agency to uncover the culprit. All too soon, Herman finds himself stepping out of the safe haven of his world and into an adventure he never imagined.

As the list of suspects grows and sinister plots are directed Daphne's way as well, Herman and Daphne must determine who they can trust and if they can risk the greatest adventure of all: love.


Bleaker Street Agency #2

My Rating

My Review

I must say, this is one of my new favorite Jen Turano's! Being a writer myself, I found this book very relatable in many ways. All of both Daphne and Herman's quirks that others thought them weird for, I totally understood. I mean, even the way the book begins with Daphne dressing up as a pirate to get inspiration for her book! Not only was that hilarious, but I can one hundred percent relate.

This book was a most delightful read! Daphne dressing up as a pirate wasn't the only thing I was laughing over and if anyone's read the first book (To Steal a Heart) then you know Daphne and exactly what I'm talking about. So many hilarious moments only Jen Turano could pull off!

Daphne was a wonderful heroine and I loved everything about her. And of course Herman was simply perfect in every way, exactly what Daphne's character needed. He's now one of my favorite male characters. Their relationship and story was so fun to read and I was laughing out loud many times!

This series as a whole may be my favorite of Jen Turano! I can't wait for the third book and for all of my questions to be answered with Eunice! Until then...

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

End of NaNoWriMo Party!

For all of you who participated in NaNoWriMo...


This is a party to celebrate! Whether you won it or not – great job! You challenged yourself to do something hard and difficult and that alone is an accomplishment, that alone is something to feel proud of yourself over! So give yourself a pat on the back, treat yourself to a bowl of ice cream, scream for all the world to hear! (Okay, maybe forgo the screaming, someone may call the police. . .)

And if you did write those 50k words then celebrate even harder because you're totally awesome! That is a LOT of words and you should feel excited over that. I've seen people on Instagram who have written over 50k and I think that is totally (insane) incredible! Personally, it took all of my brain power to reach 55,546 (not to be exact or anything. . .can't help but be proud for every single word) and I am so excited for actually achieving that! I have never written that much in that short amount of time before so I am having a very proud moment.

I actually did not join NaNoWriMo officially though. I joined the challenge unofficially and participated in The King's Daughters' Writing Camp and Writers In Faith over on Slack, it was a lot of fun surrounded by such amazing, encouraging people! I couldn't have asked for better people to be around.

Speaking of NaNo. . .I actually want to apologize. I said at the beginning of this month that I was going to have a lot of fun content coming your way and I haven't followed through completely with that. Maybe it wasn't the wisest decision to say that at the beginning of November and then spontaneously decide to join NaNo as well. XD (Yes, I decided to join the challenge the day before November 1st, don't judge.) Hopefully next month will be better!

But back to writing!

I worked on two projects this past month. One that I have already been working on and the other a brand new WIP. The first is a YA, pirate, adventure novel about love and acceptance and the second a YA, dystopian with Robin Hood vibes. I am thoroughly in love with them both and had a blast! I thought I would share a few quotes from them for your enjoyment, so here you go. . .

She's all I have left so I don't see the harm in following her wishes, even if they are a little smothering. She means best, and she loves me. That's all that matters to me.” She smiled warmly with a content look about her face.

I could admire that. Though I didn't think I would ever be able to follow such wishes if our roles were reversed, I did envy the obvious love she had for Wynne. I'd never had a person to love like that.

~YA, pirate novel

The other side of the wall. Outlawed. Everyone who did something wrong or disregarded the government's rules was sentenced over the wall, to be outlawed. Just like Father and Alyx.

~YA, dystopian novel

Climb down into the hole,” he said briskly.

I cocked my head. “What if I don't want to?”

Then I will lift you up and throw you down without a single care to how many bones you break in the process.” His tone proved he was dead serious.

I think I'll climb down.”

Good choice.”

~YA, dystopian novel

There you have it! My first ever NaNoWriMo experience. Let me know how your month went! Did you complete your goal? More importantly, did you have a blast no matter how many words you wrote? What were you working on? Be sure and let me know in the comments!



Tuesday, November 23, 2021

How to Write Faster by Writing Slower

What if I told you that by writing slower you could, in a sense, write faster? That instead of stressing and cranking out those words, you could get more written by relaxing and taking it slow. Would you think me insane? Probably. I think that of myself most of the time. But stick with me because I'm actually very serious about this.

Think about it. When was the last time you really felt you had to crank those words out to make your word count for the day? With it being NaNoWriMo this month it could have been as soon as yesterday. Or maybe it was another time when you were doing a fun challenge with friends. Think back to how you felt.

Did you ever get really stressed and maybe even panicked that you wouldn't be able to meet your deadline? Or that if you didn't get three hundred words in the next five minutes then there was simply no hope for you? I've been there. I've been in that position, that feeling of, “you have to write faster!”. But now think back to what happened.

You froze.

You had become so concentrated on the amount of words needing written that you worked yourself into a stressed/panicked state of mind. And you forgot to let the story flow naturally. That is the key right there, letting the story flow naturally.

Now remember one of your best writing days. Were you focused on your word count, or were you focused on the story? My money's on the side that says you focused on your story. Because that's what happens when you let the words unfold on their own timing and let the story tell itself. They come naturally.

I used to sit down at the computer and think “okay, I want to get this amount of words written and I can't get up until I do,”. Now I sit down and think “what's going to happen in my story today?”. See what I did there? I focused on the story instead of the word count and that is where your focus should always be. And, as a bonus, I always get a higher word count as a result of it.

But, by the end of the day, I no longer care about how many words I got, I care about the quality of my work. I always feel I write my best on these days. With your focus in the right place, you can too. It's all about quality over quantity and, in the end, you can have both.

So, my friend, I hope on your next writing day you will give this method a try. And when you do I really hope you'll come back and tell me in the comments how it went. I can't wait to hear from you! Until next time.



Monday, November 1, 2021

Exciting News and A New Plan

Today is a very exciting day!!

(And if you're asking why, well, I can't belive you don't know.)

Joke! XD I don't expect you to remember what happened one year ago today...

I started this blog!!!

That's right! Shay's Scribbles came into function and opened a whole new direction of my life. I have had a lot of fun over this past year and all of your comments and support have blessed my heart. Truly, I don't know what I would do without you guys.

However, I realize that for quite some time I have been absent. In fact, I haven't kept up with this blog that well this whole year. I don't know if you've noticed that, but I have. And I don't like it.

Thus leading to my new plan! I have worked hard lately on developing a new stragedy for Shay's Scribbles, for my blog and for my Instagram that coinsides with it. I will be releasing this new content as soon as next week and it is my sincere hope that you all enjoy it as much as I do.

To give you a little tease of what will be coming, think book reviews, writing motivation, and inspiration for those days when you feel you can't write another word. Think, filling your creative well, how to write faster by writing slower, and confidence in yourself as a writer – staying strong when you want to give up. It is my prayer that my words will bless at least a small few and that you will leave here feeling encouraged and blessed.

And, if you didn't know, I do have an Instagram now as I mentioned above and all of my content will be displayed there along with so much more! It is a private account so don't feel shy requesting a follow and I will give you ascent post haste!

Again, thank you all so much for following this blog throughout my first year and I hope I won't let you down in this next year to come. I don't know about you, but I'm looking forward to year two here on Shay's Scribbles, I only hope you are as well!

So long for now, my friend! We shall meet again here soon.

Blessings, Shay

Friday, August 27, 2021

Before the World Changed Cover Reveal!

Today I am very excited to share with you the cover of a debut author's book! First, though, let's share a little bit about the author...

A chronic illness warrior, Anna Grace understands what it feels like to have questions with no apparent answer, even while still trusting God as her source of strength. Passionate about using her writing to reach her generation, she is described by her parents as a "born writer." She can often be found reading, writing, or enjoying worship music. She also enjoys folding origami cranes and crocheting. You can connect with her here at her blog, Redeem the Time, or in her novelette, Before the World Changed.

Now, for the cover!

What's left when the world falls apart?

The only concern on Alli's mind is planning her upcoming trip with her sister—until a bolt from a clear sky turns the world upside down. But as shock and grief close in, Alli comes face to face with others just as devastated by the events as she is, and with even more reason to fear. Can she find a way to share hope with those who need it most?

I think this cover is simply amazing and makes me happy to see! If the story inside is half as good as this stunning cover then this will be a great story indeed!

If you would like to make this book your own here is the preorder link for the ebook. Those who preorder the book will receive an exclusive poem written by Anna Grace along with other limited-time bonuses. Preorder is open until September 10th, 11:59pm EST. So go order the book! Paperback will be available for preorder soon.

You can also find the author on Goodreads.

Thank you for stopping by on this exciting day! I hope you enjoyed seeing the cover as much as I did.


Monday, August 9, 2021

Book Review | The Woman With the Blue Star


1942. Sadie Gault is eighteen and living with her parents amid the horrors of the Kraków Ghetto during World War II. When the Nazis liquidate the ghetto, Sadie and her pregnant mother are forced to seek refuge in the perilous sewers beneath the city. One day Sadie looks up through a grate and sees a girl about her own age buying flowers.

Ella Stepanek is an affluent Polish girl living a life of relative ease with her stepmother, who has developed close alliances with the occupying Germans. Scorned by her friends and longing for her fiancé, who has gone off to war, Ella wanders Kraków restlessly. While on an errand in the market, she catches a glimpse of something moving beneath a grate in the street. Upon closer inspection, she realizes it’s a girl hiding.

Ella begins to aid Sadie and the two become close, but as the dangers of the war worsen, their lives are set on a collision course that will test them in the face of overwhelming odds. Inspired by harrowing true stories, The Woman with the Blue Star is an emotional testament to the power of friendship and the extraordinary strength of the human will to survive.


I recently read this book and it literally tore me to pieces. I have not had a book impact me emotionally like that in quite some time, if ever. I'll admit, I do cry pretty easily over books but with this book I was out right sobbing and it still has me in a book hangover that I can't seem to get out of.

It was so heartfelt. All of the pain that the characters went through was so real to me. I felt like I was right there with them, standing beside them trying to cheer them on and telling them to keep going despite the hardships they were facing. It was written in such a beautiful way that I truly felt like I was standing right there. Everything they experienced, I experienced too.

Simply put, it was amazing. I think everyone needs to read it, it was just that great of a book. I can not rant and rave over it enough to express just how great it was. The unlikely friendship that formed between these two girls was breath taking to say the least.

I should probably stop now before I give away spoilers or start crying again so let me leave now with just two more words. Read it.



Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Beyond Her Calling Cover Reveal!

 Hey there! Welcome to Shay's Scribbles!

Today I have a very exciting announcement to make . . . Beyond Her Calling by Kellyn Roth is having a cover reveal today!!

Beyond Her Calling is the fourth book in The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy series and is a Christian Historical Romance/ Victorian Romance. Set in Scotland during the Victorian era in late 1881, it is bound to win anyone's heart!


Ivy Knight feels that her life may never start. Though her loving family assures her that her place in the world is close to home, she still feels a push to move out of her comfort zone. Hoping against hope, she travels to her old friends at McCale House, seeking a purpose.

Jordy McAllen has just returned to Scotland after his education in London. He fears that what everyone has always said about him may be true: he can’t be a good doctor, let alone a good man. Determined to prove himself, Jordy snatches up the opportunity to become the doctor in the village of Keefmore near his parents’ farm.

When an old friend decides to travel to Keefmore and visit a relative, Ivy follows. She soon finds herself drawn to Jordy, but as their attraction grows, they both face doubts. A relationship between the two of them feels improbable—and might just require a step of impossible faith.

So, without further ado, the cover!

Isn't it just stunning?! I could stare at it all day, it's so beautiful.

But enough fangirling, I'm sure by now you're wondering how you can get yourself a copy of this gorgeous book. Well, wonder no more! I have right here the link to it on Amazon so you can go buy your very own copy. Also, check it out on Goodreads and mark that you want to read it so that the author can know you love it as much as she does.

This book will be launching on January 22nd, 2022.

So there it is, the cover for Beyond Her Calling! I hope you enjoyed seeing it as much as I did! Let me know in the comments your thoughts on it.

Book Review | To Write a Wrong

Synopsis Miss Daphne Beekman is a mystery writer by day, inquiry agent by night. Known for her ability to puzzle out plots, she prefers work...