Monday, January 31, 2011

Been Going...

For anyone paying attention (unlike me), you'll notice that I'm going a little blog crazy lately. The truth is I feel bad. I feel like I've abandoned my post--so to speak. Sure, I've been busy with the kids, and the work, and the boyfriend, and the editing, but that's not really a good excuse.

Anyway, I'm trying to make up for my poor behavior. I really would love to get back to a daily (or near daily) posting schedule again. I just don't know what to write about! Sure, I read a lot and I'm always going to have something to review (actually I'm waiting for a package from Amazon right now), but book reviews every day isn't enough.

Do you, oh fabulous reader, have a suggestion for me? I'd really, really love to hear it. Just leave me a comment, or pop me an email. I love to hear from you guys. It makes me feel special. :D

I'm going to try to assemble my thoughts over the next few days, and get some things set up to get you guys to participate. Maybe there will be a blogfest in there. Don't know for sure though.

Hope to hear from you guys soon!

So Super Excited

My NaNo from 2009, "A Place Called Earth," is on it final edit. I have gone through and checked for repeating words and phrases, flat writing, empty adverbs, phony dialogue, evil suffixes, the passive voice, those crappy pesky -ly words, listts, and the awkward phrasing. Not to mention, filling the plot holes. (Wow... I just realized how pun-tastic that was. :-/ ) What's left for me to do? Well, its funny you should ask.

My favorite part of Microsoft Office is the find/replace feature. I use it A LOT! The last thing I do is the passive "to be" stuff. Its hard to get rid of. It takes a while. But, that isn't the only thing that needs to be ridded from the world I've created. There are a few things that need to go with them. They are empty words, they feel good coming out when you write that rough draft, but they are EVIL! Those words are just, really, seemed, had, that, began, started, and realized. The writing is so much stronger without them!

It was actually something I would have comepletely missed if it weren't for NaNo 2010. I noticed a lot of had's and that's that didn't seem to do anything but sit there on the page. Needless to say, it feels like a task that should go after the plot filling and the other major edits (Do I smell another rewrite in my future? *sigh*).

So, that's what's going on. I am up to Chapter 7 of 25, and the pages are still continuing to rise. I am also preparing the format to have it printed so I'll have a couple proof copies for my friend and the boyfriend to look over. From there on out... well, then comes the hard part--trying to snag an agent.

Wish me luck. I have a feeling I'll have lost my boucy attitude the next time I update you all on "A Place Called Earth."

P.S.  I almost forgot! I'm working on an entry form for my giveaway that I hope will be coming up in the near future. I'm thinking I will start posting about the blog on Facebook, so if we're friends there, awesome! Otherwise you should add me as a buddy.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

I See a Giveaway in Your Future

So, if you've been following my blog for a while now, you probably know that I've never done a giveaway! Well, I'm going to change that. But... I'm going to need some help. A couple things really.

First, I need more followers. That's right. I'm asking you guys to spread the word about this blog! Do you like it? I hope so. So, pass it around on Twitter if you will. That would be great. When I've reached 50 followers (that's only 21 people away), I'll be ready to do the giveaway.

Here's number two. I need some ideas on what I should give away. I'm thinking a book or two, but what do you guys want? Any ideas would be awesome.

One more thing, though. I'm going to do something special. When I tweet about this post, if you RT it for me, and then leave me a comment here on the blog, I will give you a point for when the giveaway comes. That way, you'll already be a step ahead of the game! Sounds great, right? So, comment away, let me know what you want to get and how many people you've refered, and we'll have a good ole time!

Thanks for being awesome followers!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Review of I am Number Four by Pittacus Lore

From the book:

I Am Number Four (Lorien Legacies)Nine of us came here, we look like you. We talk like you. We live among you. But we are not you. We do things you dream of doing. We have powers you dream of having.We are stronger and faster than anything you have ever seen. We are the superheroes you worship in movies and comic books--but we are real.

Our plan was to grow, and train, and become strong, and become one, and fight them. But they found us and started hunting us first. Now all of us are running, Spending our lives in shadows, in places no one would look, blending in. We have lived among you without you knowing.

But they know.

They caught Number One in Malaysia.
Number Two in England.
And Number Three in Kenya.
They killed them all.

I am Number Four.

I am next.

My Thoughts:

The idea behind this story is brilliant. Nine children from a distant life-bearing planet come to Earth along with their Guardians (cepans). They can run as fast as a car on the highway and they're super strong, but they aren't the only ones that came to Earth. Another bunch of aliens, the Mogadorians, are here to destroy them and then do the same to us.

I loved the history that is given in this story. Its so well thought out. There aren't many details about the race of the Lorien that are left to the imagination, or their involvement in our world.

On the other hand, the language used in the story is awkward, there are many times where you have to read over a sentence or paragraph more than once. Also, the whole story is written in present tense which is a bit odd. The grammar and punctuation are attrocious. There are a lot of places where the comma is a space away from the word it should be attached to. Same with periods. There were also a lot of words with no spaces between them making it hard to read at times. It was really very disappointing that such an amazing idea wasn't looked over more carefully by the editor. Especially considering it was published by Penguin.

Overall, the action sequences were pretty decent, maybe a little drawn out. The characters weren't deep, they were very two-demensional, and it will probably lose a lot of readers due to the lack of self and professional editing.

Rating: YA.

Recommended for: Readers of almost any age. Most of the vocab in it is very simple.

Not Recommended for: Anyone that will get stuck on the technical issues of writing.

Stars: 2/5

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Comfort Reading List

As a writer, I am always looking for something to give me inspiration. To say I read a lot would be an understatement. It drives the boyfriend crazy how much I read because, in his mind, I could be doing something more productive. The thing is, I really don't spend that much time reading a book. I read fast, and if I can't get into a book, I struggle to get through it. Sometimes, I won't finish it at all.

Throughout my life, there have been a few books that have stuck with me. Granted, if I buy and like a book, I'll never get rid of it. If the house burnt down, I'd probably go with it just trying to get my collection out. But, the ones I really, really love join my comfort reading list. They're the books that I've read a dozen times and will read again in two weeks when I've made it through my rotation and the others that have been suggested to me.

I know I'm not alone in this. Tons of people have those books that they just love to read, although, I'm not exactly sure they've put a name to those books. Hell, I can't even be sure that anyone has a list as long as mine... I guess we'll be finding out though, because I'm about to tell you what's on my list. :)

This is seriously only a small part of the collection of books that I own, but these are the few that I can't seem to go more than a month without. If you want to leave me a comment and tell me what's on yours, or even suggest something you think I would like, that would be awesome. I never pass up an opportunity to try something new.

So, without further ado, here is my Comfort Reading List (in no particular order):

Harry Potter Year 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, and 7 by J.K. Rowling
Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
Pictures of Hollis Woods by Patricia Reilly Giff
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Eyes of the Dragon by Stephen King
Thinner by Stephen King
Strangers by Dean Koontz
A Child Called "It" by Dave Pelzer
Nightshade by Andrea Cremer
The House of Night series by P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast
Twilight and Breaking Dawn by Stephany Meyer
Dracula by Bram Stoker

Yeah, so its a lot of books... Looking at the list, I can kinda understand why the boyfriend is upset when he sees me reading, but they really don't take me long to read. Not to mention, I skim through a few spots I don't like on a couple of them. *smacks hands* (Shame on me...)

So, again, I invite you to share your list of books you love to read over and over again. Maybe, like me, you read them for inspiration, or because they make you feel good, or maybe you have another reason to read them until they fall apart. Let me know!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Review of Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

ParanormalcyFrom the book:

Weird as it is working for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, Evie's always thought of herself as normal. Sure, her best friend is a mermaid, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she's falling for a shape-shifter, and she's the only person who can see through paranormals' glamours, but still. Normal.
Only now paranormals are dying, and Evie's dreams are filled with haunting voices and mysterious prophecies. She soon realizes that there may be a link between her abilities and the sudden rash of deaths. Not only that, but she may bery well be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures.
So much for normal.

My Thoughts:

OMG I loved this book. Mrs. White's idea was unbelievably original and Evie is super awesome. I loved her wit and her fashion sense and her friends. All amazing. The story is so well written, I actually believe the IPCA could exist!

I went in this story with low expectations. Sure, I had heard reviews, but I guess I was expecting it to be just like every other book with vampires, werewolves and whatever else. Totally and absolutely wrong! Evie is the perfect story teller. She is so witty and innocent. What she sees and how she sees it is amazing. I love that she vies for a life that we find mundane while the world we wish existed is her idea of boring. Its fantastic.

I loved loved loved Lend. He is just so perfect for Evie and his cryptic speak and all that. Loved him. And then there was Reth. The way he is described is great, and the way the whole faerie race was fantastic, but I just couldn't help being a little wary of him. Of course, I think that was the idea. ;)

Rating: PG. It's a great YA novel, perfect for any young adult of any age. Of course, there were a few violent parts, but very tastefully done.

Recommended for: Anyone that loves the fantasy genre and would like something fresh and different.

Not Recommended for: Someone against violence (even the kind that isn't real)

Stars: 5/5 (Oh bleep!)

Review of Nightshade by Andrea Cremer

 From the Book:

Nightshade: Book 1Calla Tor has always known her destiny: After graduatin from the Mountain School, she'll be the mate of sexy alpha wolf Ren Laroche and fight with him, side by side, ruling their pack and guarding sacred sites for the Keepers. But when she violates her masters' laws by saving a beautiful human boy out for a hike, Calla begins to question her fate, her existence, and the very essence of the world she has known. By following her heart, she might lose everything--including her own life. Is forbidden love worththe ultimate sacrifice?
My Thoughts:
The first thing that hit me about this book, just looking at it was that the cover is beautiful. We've all heard the old saying, "Don't judge a book by its cover" but I can't help it here. Wow. Also, I love the pages dedicated for the chapters. Phases of the moon, rock on! Then there are those weird little triangle symbols at the corners of each first page of the chapters. It all wraps into the story and really helped pull me in.

The first chapter of this story was amazing. It sucked me right in and took me for the ride. It isn't really surprising what Calla turns out to be, but it is a very original twist on a very classic tale. The chapters are somewhat short, but its such a relief to find that stopping point to go find a bag of chips or turn on some music without having to stop in the middle of the action.

Calla has an awesome personality. I love her for it. She has some outstanding morals in a very fast paced world, and I enjoyed her view on us lowly humans. The balance between her duties and her desires gives her fabulous depth and I really enjoyed following her around on her journey.

Right away, I saw the conflict in this story and while it wasn't a big surprise how the story ended, it was still fantastic writing. Mrs. Cremer did a great job and I can't wait until July to read Wolfsbane.

Rating: G. This is a perfect paranormal/fantasy story for a teen or young adult, but I think that even those of us that are a little older than that would love this book.

Recommended for: Anyone that loves a good twist off the usual fantasy story, anyone that loves history

Not Recommended for: People that don't appreciate the fantasy genre

Rating: 5/5