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So today is my birthday.  Since I am celebrating my birth today, I’m gonna hold off on posting a book review this week.  I’ll have a new, shiny review for you next week =)

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Back to School Time

It’s back to school time! Almost every writer I know loves this time of year for two reasons; the kids are going back to school and the sales on supplies.  (I don’t have kids, so I can’t fully appreciate the kids are going back to school excitement.)

For me the excitement of back to school time is the sales.  I live in a little village (our population has not reached town status, yet) and most of all forms of shopping is at our small Wal-Mart.  While I was grocery shopping last week I noticed the sales had started.  Note cards and spiral bound notebooks are my downfall.  Notebooks here normally run around $1.19 a piece.  I about screamed when I saw them for $0.20.  Same deal for the note cards, post-it notes, mechanical pencils, and pretty much everything else a writer needs.  This is the time for stock piling.  For the price of one notebook I get five!!! Yes, please!

This doesn’t even go into all the sales for desktops, laptops and pretty much anything else that could possibly be related to school.  I hate paying full price for anything so this is my favorite time of year.

 

But to be completely honest, I think what has me so excited is the decision I made to go back to school again.  Yes, I’m a geek and like school. =)

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For those that don’t know, this July is peppered with amazing books coming out. I won’t go into the full list here, but feel the need to share some of the ones I’m truly excited about.

A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin.

I’ve been reading the Song of Ice and Fire series for as long as I can remember, so needless to say tomorrow’s release of Dance with Dragons has me the most excited.  It is preordered and will arrive on my Kindle at 2am tomorrow morning to hold me over till I can get my hands on the physical copy.  If I suddenly disappear from the internet for awhile (like that doesn’t happen all the time anyways) you now know why.

 Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes by Denise Grover Swank.

I was one of the lucky few to beta read for Denise.  The first time (yes, I’ve already read it more than once) I finished it I was pissed because I wanted to jump around on the internet and discuss it with others and I couldn’t.  I wanted to hand over a physical copy to my friends telling them they have to read this and again I couldn’t.  So needless to say I am thrilled that this will be available to tomorrow. (If you have an eReader it is already available)  I already have a copy on my Kindle right next to the beta version (I guess I can take that one off now) and will probably have to get two physical copies tomorrow as well. (I have to have a permanent copy for my bookshelf and at least one to lend out to friends)  I’m already waiting impatiently for the next in the series =)

Born to be a Dragon by Eisley Jacobs.

While I haven’t read this one yet, I have been a beta reader for Eisley in the past and love her work.  I’ve been reading all her posts and tweets about this and have been jealous that I wasn’t on the beta list for this one.  (Really, why do you need kids to beta a middle grade novel anyways?)  Anywho, this one got released early and is now available on eReaders and physical copies at Amazon.  Also, Eisley is hosting a scavenger hunt over at her blog with some fabulous daily prizes.  Go check it out.

 

Happy reading!

 

 

 

 


					

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Is finding out that something you beta read is going to be available to the masses.

I’ve been extremely lucky to beta for Denise Grover Swank on three different occasions.  I love her stories and writing.  Monday she announced her big news, that Twenty Eight and a Half wishes was going to be available July 12.  The first time I read this manuscript I couldn’t put it down, literally.  Food and everyday requirements went out the window and had to wait till I was done.  As soon as I finished it, I took to Facebook.  It had been awhile since I found a book that made me actually laugh out loud and cry at the same time.  I wanted right then and there for others to be able to read it so I would be able to talk about it with them.

Thankfully I only have to wait a month and a half more. =)  Everyone mark your calendars for July 12, you won’t regret it.

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Blackveil is coming!

A long, long time ago in what seems like a world far away, I went to work without a book to read on my lunch break.  Being a proper mall employee, I ran to Walden Books on my break and quickly scanned the shelves for any book cover that grabbed me.  That is how I came across Green Rider by Kristen Britain.  I must admit that my first lunch break with the book, I wasn’t completely hooked.  By my second lunch break, though, I had a hard time tearing myself away from it.

The night I finished Green Rider, I noticed the ad in the back of the book that First Rider’s Call, had just been released.  My car had just been broken into and trashed but that was not going to stop me from finding a way to a bookstore to pick it up.  The fact that it was after 9pm was not going to stop me either.  I was hooked after the first paragraph and was extremely thankful I had another day off and could do nothing but read all day.  A dear friend of mine joked with me that I was taking to this series like it was another Harry Potter.  I looked over the edge of my book and in all seriousness responded, “Nope, its better.”

Like every series that I fall into, the wait between books is torturous, even more so with the Green Rider series since the wait can top four years.  The wait is worth it though.  When The High King’s Tomb came out I seriously contemplated calling into work because I was so entranced.  Britain makes up for the long waits by giving her reader pages upon pages of a rich world with characters that have become like family to me.

It’s been eight years since I was introduced to Karigan G’ladheon, but I always seem to return to her and her friends whenever I am at a loss for what to read next or when I just need something comforting to read.  The Green Rider series has become almost like a security blanket.  When things aren’t going well in real life, I escape into Sacoridia and feel at home.  Her writing is everything that I aspire to as a writer.  Britain’s ability to weave and intertwine plot lines flawlessly allows her readers to fall in love with the world and characters.  Personally, I relate to the characters more than I have in any other series I’ve read.  I have a vested interest in what happens to them.  So imagine my surprise when I searched her blog over Christmas break and realized that Blackveil is coming.

After over three years since The High King’s Tomb left me anxious to find out what happens to Karigan, Captain Mapstone, King Zachary and of course the Berry Sisters (two of my favorite characters in literary history) Blackveil will be coming at the beginning of February.  As crazy as my work schedule will be at that time, I have no idea how I will be able to devour the book as soon as it comes out, but I’m sure I’ll figure out a way.  If you don’t hear from me in a while, you know where I’ll be.

 

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Hello World

I am poking my head out of my cave to say hello to everyone and make sure that you are having a wonderful holiday season.  Having been away for so long I feel like I owe you a series of excuses, so here it goes:

  • After a long battle to stay afloat, the company that I worked for closed.
    • This was really hard on me.  No matter how many bad things happened at that job, I still loved it and took it very hard when it closed.
  • Nine months of unemployment later, I found a new job at the most amazing company ever!
    • Seriously, I couldn’t imagine working at a place like this in my wildest dreams
  • I moved from big city Florida to small town Illinois.
    • Talk about major culture shock
  • My family moved across Florida as well.
  • Series of the regular health issues
    • Migraines and such
  • And worst of all, I stopped writing.

Yep, that’s right, I stopped writing.  Something that I have been trying to rectify recently, but that will be another post.  All previous projects have been put on hold.  White Queen’s Betrayal has stopped in the middle of nowhere with no direction whatsoever.  The Gypsy Night (formerly Prince of Palaramo) has been put on hold indefinitely.  The emotion that is necessary to write that subject is too much for me to handle right now.  I would love to pick the story back up, but I have a feeling that it will happen when it is meant to happen and I can’t rush that.

So, what will happen to this blog?

Well, as I said earlier, I have started writing again.  Part of writing again means working on this blog again.  Hopefully, I will get back into a regular schedule as well.  So expect to see more posts coming soon, and feel free to hound me on Twitter if not =)

 

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Praying for Death

Before anyone reads too much into the title, no, I am not suicidal.

For those who have not heard yet, I recently lost a wonderful teacher and mentor to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (a.k.a. ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease.)  This disease kills off motor neurons in the brain, slowly paralyzing the person affected although the rest of their brain functions normally.  When I found out that my teacher was diagnosed, I prayed she wouldn’t suffer with this disease and that it took her in the early stages.  I know it sounds awful to think like this but isn’t it worse to hope that she would be buried alive inside her body for my own selfish reasons?

After battling the disease for a little over six months, she began going into sleeping comas and passed away peacefully in her sleep.  While losing a mentor and teacher is a heart wrenching experience, I remain thankful that she did not have to suffer with this disease long.

Those that have known me for a while might be shocked reading this since I strongly believe in fighting diseases.  I put no stock at all in life expectancies as I have yet to find an expiration date tattooed anywhere.  If there is a chance to live, I believe that one should take that chance.  That being said, the fight should go on only as long as the person afflicted is able to fight.  I have watched people kept alive against their will while suffering more than words could ever describe (this was prior to living wills.)  I know that if I am ever diagnosed with a terminal illness I will fight it to no end, but I hope that those around me will understand when my fight is over.

So what does this have to do with writing?  A book I am currently working on deals with the Holocaust, particularly those in Dr. Josef Mengle’s care.  Researching the heinous things done to those in concentration camps, I couldn’t help thinking that if I was in their position; I would pray for death.  Granted, I am glad for those that fought and were able to educate others on what happened during that time so that we could prevent anything similar from happening again.  I have had the honor of talking with a few survivors and they all agreed that during that time, living was their form of fighting.  I understand what they mean, and have a great amount of respect for them because I still maintain the belief that in the same position, I would give up.

This belief has created issues between me and my main character, Tamas.  Tamas believes that living is the ultimate rebellion against his oppressors.  While I understand his belief, it is very hard for me to get into his head when he deals with the obstacles he is going through.  Certain scenes take me weeks just to get ready to write them and I end up curling up in a ball crying two sentences in.  I no longer want to fight the fight.

The death of my teacher made me realize that I wasn’t the one fighting.  In life, we fight alongside our friends and family as they battle, doing what we can to help.  We battle our own battles while standing beside them, but we know our battle is nothing in comparison to what they face.  We stand by them as long as they want us to, no matter what.  As authors, we have to create the battle and stand by our characters as they battle.  It creates quite a conflict of interest at times.

So, I have finally realized that I am not the one fighting Tamas’ battles, he is.  If he chooses to rebel by living, I will stand by him all the way.  I just have to figure out a way to deal with my own battles and pray Tamas doesn’t suffer too much.

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