Wednesday, February 29, 2012

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, GRANDMOTHER.

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Today is Grandmother Clara's 34th birthday. If you count only the Leap Years. She always joked that she was a youngster. She was quite a lady. So Happy Birthday, Grandmother. 1876 - 1962. I see you smiling down at me from Heaven.


Grandmother is on the second row, the lady with the glasses. I'm standing to her left, behind the doll. She raised five sons. Grandaddy is the gentleman on her right.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Starters by Lissa Price - a Review

What an exciting read this book is. And how about that cover! Here are my thoughts.

STARTERS (Review)

By Lissa Price


Imagine living to an age of 100 plus years. Imagine being able to “rent” a teen’s body, and for a short time you’re “young” again. Sounds intriguing, huh? Especially if you’re of the older generation.

Author Lissa Price’s debut novel, Starters, introduces the reader to sixteen-year-old Callie Woodland, her brother, Tyler, seven years old and a sickly child, and Michael, her friend. They’re in desperate need of a place to stay. Their parents have died as a result of the genocide spores that killed so many in the recently ended war. Callie and hundreds of other young people, saved by a vaccination, are left to fend for themselves. There’s one way Callie can earn enough money to find a warm place to live: Prime Destinations, a business that rents bodies. Enders, the old folks who survived, take over a teen’s body for a week or a specified period. During this time they are young again. The teen whose body they’re “renting,” and who has a tiny neurochip inserted into the back of the head, reclines in a padded chair, under the influence of anesthesia and will wake up without any side effects and best of all wealthy. Or so the theory goes. The author explains in detail how the switch works. As in most ideas, however, sometimes things don’t turn out the way they’re planned. When Callie wakes up after an Ender has rented her body, she knows something has gone wrong. As she attempts to unravel the mystery of what happened so she can get her body back, Callie discovers that people are not always who they seem to be and there is a dark and dangerous side to Prime Destinations.

Starters is a fast-paced read with one surprise after another. Callie is a well-developed character whose concern for her younger brother prompts her to try most anything to keep him safe. The author adds a bit of romance to spice up the story. I’m happy to say the next book in the series will be out in the winter of 2012. Ms. Price has a winner here.

EBook courtesy of NetGalley and Delacorte Books for Young Readers

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Friday, February 24, 2012

Coming Attraction!

Aidana WillowRaven has made a cool virtual post card for Life on Hold. It's on the 4 RV Publishing YouTube Channel. Enjoy.

Monday, February 20, 2012

THE DIG Review

Quote for the week:  The best thing to hold on to in life ... is each other. Audrey Hepburn

Lately I've read a few books about gods and goddesses. Here's another one that I really enjoyed.

THE DIG: Zoe and Zeus

by Audrey Hart





The Review:




Most people’s lives are fairly routine: school, work, entertainment, family. Even if we’re a bit of a rebel and like to break the rules, there is a pattern to each day. But what if our world suddenly changes? What if we meet unusual creatures and find ourselves in another time, another place? I don’t know about you, but I’d want to get back home, to my life. Of course this would be after I freaked out and went a little crazy at first.

In Audrey Hart’s debut novel, The Dig: Zoe and Zeus, Zoe, the misfit at school, spends the summer with her aunt and uncle, geologists, in Greece, where they discover an ancient temple that promises an exciting summer for Zoe. Little does she know just how weird the next few weeks will be. The first clue is a seven-foot-tall iPhone leaning against the wall of a mystery room in the temple. And that’s just the beginning. Zoe’s summer is one to write about, if anyone would believe her. She learns a lot about herself and also about the gorgeous guy she calls “Blondie,” as he calls her “Curly.” You’ll have to read the book to find out why. Floods, tornadoes, fires, and the gods that live on Mount Olympus challenge Zoe as she faces each obstacle, sometimes with courage, other times with doubt and fear.

If you like Greek Mythology, I think you’ll enjoy Audrey Hart’s novel. Humor, romance, danger, and likeable characters make The Dig an interesting story. This book is the first of a trilogy. Mythology stories are new to me, and I’m really enjoying learning about the gods and goddesses. I’m looking forward to reading the next installment.

eBook courtesy of the author and BackLit Fiction

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Friday, February 17, 2012

The Versatile Blogger Award

A happy Friday to you all.

Recently, I was nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award by Susanne Drazic. Thank you for this honor, Susanne. Be sure to check out her blog at http://susannedrazic.blogspot.com. While you are there, take a look at  her interviews, reviews, and other super posts.

The rules for the nominees of this award are:
1. Nominate 15 fellow bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award (I nominated 10)
2. Add an image of the Versatile Blogger Award to your post
3. In the same post, thank the blogger who nominated you in a post with a link back to their blog
4. In the same post, share 7 random pieces of information about yourself
5. In the same post, include this set of rules
6. Inform each nominated blogger of their nomination by posting a comment on each of their blogs

Seven random pieces of information about me. If I've mentioned any of these before, blame my faulty memory.

1. I feed the deer and birds and stray cats and dogs.
2. I teach a women's Sunday school class at my church.
3. I collect the free giveaways from Estee Lauder but seldome use them.
4. I take photographs of clouds, butterflies, flowers and other things in nature.
5. Genealogy is my hobby.
6. I once belonged to an Elvis fan club.
7. I spend way too much time blogging.

Nominees for The Versatile Blogger's Award are:

1. Kai Strand - http://kaistrand.blogspot.com
2. Linda Jo Martin - http://rivergirlclaire.com
3. Darby Karchut - http://darbykarchut.blogspot.com
4. Penny Ehrenkranz - http://pennylockwoodehrenkranz.blogspot.com
5. Donna McDine - http://www.donna-mcdine.blogspot.com
6. L. Diane Wolfe - http://circleoffriendsbooks.blogspot.com
7. Ruthi Cox - http://ruthireads.blogspot.com
8. Mayra Calvani - http://mayrassecretbookcase.blogspot.com
9. Catherine Stine - http://catherinestine.blogspot.com
10. Rena Jones - http://renajjones.blogspot.com


I will be notifying the nominees.

Happy Reading and Writing. Have a wonderful weekend.

Monday, February 13, 2012

THE CLOCKWORK GIANT Review

Today I have another debut novel I think you'll want to add to your TBR list.  The Clockwork Giant by Brooke Johnson.

The Review

Are you fascinated with machinery? Do gears intrigue you? Or are you like me, and your eyes glaze over when anyone talks about mechanics because you don’t understand how they work?

Whichever category describes you, you’ll learn a lot about machinery from Author Brooke Johnson’s debut novel The Clockwork Giant. Ms. Johnson explains in simple language that even I can understand the details of the project that our heroine, Petra Wade, and the university student and boy she comes to like, Emmerich Goss, are building. We travel back in time to 1860s England, a time when girls had few rights and Petra’s dream of being an engineer was just that - only a dream. She’s an orphan and lives in the slums. She sweeps the pawn shop, until one day, she meets Emmerich, and her life changes forever. They team up to build an automaton that might possibly save the world, or else destroy it. If she is discovered working with him, Emmerich will be marked for treason and Petra for death. The Clockwork Giant is a story of mystery, determination, and love between a boy and girl from different backgrounds. Will they succeed in making the world a better place in which to live, or will The Guild stop them?

It took me awhile to get into the story, but once I did, I couldn’t stop reading. The Clockwork Giant introduced me to a period in history that I wasn’t familiar with. The ending left me wanting to know more. The good news is that Petra and Emmerich‘s story will continue. The next book in The Chroniker City Series will be out in the winter of 2012. I’m looking forward to learning what happens next. Can our heroine overcome the obstacles that await her and Emmerich? Ms. Johnson’s book would make a good addition to high school libraries where students could experience a time in history quite different from the one they live in.

EBook courtesy of the author

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Friday, February 10, 2012

Just Have to Share the Good News!

This week I've been buried under copy edits. I've hardly left my computer, except to eat. Yes, my YA contemporary novel, Life on Hold, will soon be out. March is the tentative release date. I'm so excited. Details to follow.


Aidana WillowRaven is the talented illustrator.

Do you wonder what this cover has to do with the story? Well, I'll tell you later.

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Book of Lost Fragrances (Review)

This is the first book by M. J. Rose that I've read and I hope to read more. Here are my thoughts.

The Book of Lost Frangrances
 By M. J. Rose

Do you enjoy a bit of history and a touch of mystery? Or do Buddas and the Dalai Lama fascinate you? Is mythology and reincarnation more to your taste? Or do Cleopatra and perfume intrigue you? Oh, and there’s also the ghost. What if you could find all of these in one story? Well, you can.

The Book of Lost Fragrances, a novel by author M. J. Rose, takes the reader from Egypt to New York, from China to France, and from the past to the present with a cast of characters you won’t soon forget. There are way too many to mention them all here, so I won’t even try. At first I wondered how the different people would fit together. The Book of Lost Fragrances is the story of Jac L’Etoile and her brother, Robbie, who is searching for the Fragrance of Memory. Then Robbie goes missing and it seems others are interested in pottery fragments that could be proof of reincarnation. The story gets even more complicated as Jac and her former lover, Griffin, attempt to find Robbie.

In alternating chapters we meet the other characters, sometimes traveling centuries back, as the author ties each of them into Jac and Robbie’s story. At times, the switch from one time and setting to another interrupted the story that I was following. It was necessary, I guess, to bring in the background for Jac and Robbie’s story. I enjoyed the read and recommend Ms. Rose’s latest for lovers of adventure, history, and even romance.

EBook courtesy of Atria Books and Net Galley

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Happy Reading.

Friday, February 3, 2012

The Neat Thing About Critique Groups

I belong to two critique groups: "The Dabbling Muse" and "Silverweb." They're both quite different. Yet they're the same. They're the same because we read each other's works in progress and give comments. These are our individual opinions of what works in the story and what doesn't, of course. Many times, however, two or more readers will notice similar comments on one sentence, paragraph, or even a whole scene. When this happens to me, I study the suggesstions carefully and then it's clear where I went wrong.

Both groups are the same in that we try to help each other make our work the best that it can be. And you as writers know that you can miss important details because you're so close to the story. Others are able to pick up on what the writer overlooks. I take the suggesstions of my critique partners very seriously. No, I don't use all of their ideas, but at least they help me see the direction I should be going.

One of the neatest things about my critique groups, both of them, is the fact that when I'm reading their stories, I find some of the same mistakes they've made I've also made in my work. Eye opener there. So by critiquing others, I'm also critiquing myself in a way, when I realize I use the word "and" five times in one paragraph, or when I "tell" the story rather than "show" it like I'm reminding my crit partners to do.

They're different in the way we post our work. One group has a set schedule; the other is whenever you have something you need help with.

I love you, great writers: Linda, Kai, Nancy, Norma, Cheryl, Beth, and Terre. Without you I'd be hopeless. Write on, ladies.

Have a super weekend, all.