Monday, March 31, 2014

SHARP WRIT BOOK AWARDS WINNER

Welcome Monday and the last day of March. Hopefully winter is gone and spring with baby birds and rabbits and wildflowers will replace the cold and snow. I have some great news today. I've been waiting for an official notification, but can wait no longer. Patience is not one of my virtues. The winners of the 2013 Sharp Writ Book Awards are listed on their blog. You can see all of them here. Scroll down to the very bottom where it says Young Adult and you'll see CAVES, CANNONS, AND CRINOLINES. That's me, folks, and I am so excited.



Caves, Cannons, and Crinolines is the story of Elizabeth (Lizzie) Stamford and her family's daily struggle to survive a changing way of life during the American Civil War. This is a story of fear, courage, and understanding that people, no matter where they live, have the same needs: love, peace, and security.






Since I'm on the theme of history, here's my review of a great Civil War novel, SHADES OF GRAY, by Jessica James.

Move over, Rhett Butler and Scarlett O’Hara. You’ve met your match. Captain Alexander Hunter, Confederate officer, is brave and daring, as well as handsome. Andrea Evans, Union sympathizer, is headstrong and impulsive, and like a chameleon changes her identity to suit the situation. When North meets South sparks are bound to fly, not only on the battlefield, but also in the lives of a man and woman that will do anything for the cause they believe in.

SHADES OF GRAY, the award winning historical novel by Author Jessica James, is set in Virginia during the American Civil War. Andrea plays many roles in the story: a boy that delivers dispatches for the Union, a guide, and a Southern Belle to name a few. Captain Alexander Hunter is a fearless leader, respected by his men. Both characters believe deeply in their cause and will defend their beliefs until death if necessary. Jessica James shows the personal side of the characters and how families are torn apart in a war that will scar our nation for years to come. The battle scenes are so vivid I felt as though I were in the middle of the action, hearing the cries of pain, witnessing the blood and the dying men. The story contains beautiful moments too. When Alexander and Andrea can stop arguing enough, they realize they’re falling in love, something I’d been telling them all along.

The American Civil War is my favorite era in history, and I have a whole library of books about the war. I am pleased to add another great novel to my collection. The only thing I disliked about the book was the ending, not because it wasn’t beautifully written. It was. I also understand why it ended the way it did. And that’s all I’m saying because I don’t want to give anything away. Other readers may love the ending. However, I am happy to hear that Noble Cause … well, my lips are sealed. I’m reading it next. Ms. James has written another great story dealing with the history of America. Let’s hope we’ve learned our lesson from the past.

###

Jessica's and my books are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and most places where books are found. The eBook of Caves is only $2.95.

Happy Reading.
   

Friday, March 28, 2014

REPOST FROM "WRITE FOR KIDS"

How to Create Your Own Children’s Writing Niche — With One Simple Technique (via http://writeforkids.org)

I was watching my new favorite comedy show — Kroll Show — last night and had a revelation about the creative process.   This episode featured a particularly hilarious installment of the sketch Wheels, Ontario, a delirious spoof on Canadian culture…

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

THE GRIMMTASTIC GIRLS $50 BOOK BLAST

About the Books: The Grimmtastic Girls

Book #1

Title: Grimmtastic Girls #1: Cinderella Stays Late | Authors: Joan Holub & Suzanne Williams | Publication Date: March 25, 2014 | Publisher: Scholastic Inc. | Pages: 192 | Recommended Ages: 8 to 12


Grimmtastic Girls: Cinderella Stays LateSummary: The authors of the hit Goddess Girls series put a fun and girly twist on another super-popular theme: fairy tales!

Once upon a time, in faraway Grimmlandia...

A Grimmtastic girl named Cinderella is starting her first week at Grimm Academy on the wrong foot. Cinda's totally evil stepsisters are out to make her life miserable. The Steps tease Cinda, give her terrible advice about life at the academy, and even make her look bad in front of her new friends, Red, Snow, and Rapunzel! But when Cinda overhears the Steps plotting a villainous deed that could ruin Prince Awesome's ball, Cinda, her new friends, and a pair of magical glass slippers have to stop them--before the last stroke of midnight!
AmazonGoodreads

 

 

Book #2

Title: Grimmtastic Girls #2: Red Riding Hood Gets Lost | Authors: Joan Holub & Suzanne Williams | Publication Date: March 25, 2014 | Publisher: Scholastic Inc. | Pages: 192 | Recommended Ages: 8 to 12


Red Riding Hood Gets LostSummary: Red Riding Hood might have a terrible sense of direction, but her grimmtastic friends are always there to help!

Once upon a time, in faraway Grimmlandia...

Red Riding Hood is thrilled to try out for the school play. Acting is her dream, and she's great at it--too bad she has stage fright! After a grimmiserable audition, Red decides to focus on helping her friends Cinda, Snow, and Rapunzel save Grimm Academy from the E.V.I.L. Society. But when Red gets lost in Neverwood forest and runs into Wolfgang, who might be part of E.V.I.L., she needs her magic basket and a grimmazingly dramatic performance to figure out what's going on!
AmazonGoodreads

 

 

About the Authors: Joan Holub & Suzanne Williams

Joan Holub

 

Joan Holub has authored and/or illustrated more than 130 children's books, including Little Red Writing (illustrated by Caldecott Honoree Melissa Sweet) and Zero the Hero. She lives in NC and is online at www.joanholub.com

Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads

 

 

Suzanne Williams

 

Suzanne Williams is the author of nearly 50 books for children, including the award-winning picture book Library Lil (illustrated by Steven Kellogg). She lives near Seattle, WA and is online at www.suzanne-williams.com

Author Blog | Goodreads

 

 

Co-authors Joan and Suzanne have written the Goddess Girls, Heroes in Training, and Grimmtastic Girls series. Though they live in different states and hardly ever get to see each other, they spend lots of time together in Grimmlandia.

Facebook (Grimmtastic Girls) | Facebook (Goddess Girls Books)

Online Author Visits

 

$50 Book Blast Giveaway

Amazon $50 Gift Card

Prize: $50 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice)

Contest ends: April 23, 11:59 pm, 2014

Open: Internationally

How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.

Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the authors, Joan Holub & Suzanne Williams and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


MDBR Book Promotion Services











Monday, March 24, 2014

REVIEW SHADES OF VIRTUE BY JACK WHITSEL

I am delighted to start this week with a review of Award Winning Author Jack Whitsel's latest novel SHADES OF VIRTUE, the second book in his DRAGON RISING SERIES.
 
This is a really intriguing cover, don't you think? Makes you wonder who these girls are and what their story is. (I know.)
 
 
SHADES OF VIRTUE Review
By Jack Whitsel
 
Take knights in shining armor and a joust to marry a lovely lady, weave in deceit, treachery, and magic, and you end up with an adventure to keep you guessing who are the good guys and who are the bad. You’ll also wonder who will be the winners, not only of the joust, but of life itself.
 
Author Jack Whitsel’s latest novel, SHADES OF VIRTUE, the second book in the DRAGON RISING SERIES, takes the reader back to the days of old where battles and tournaments often determined the future of a country. Even today, nations rise and fall as the result of wars between different factions. The story has a lot of characters to keep up with, and I discovered that making a list of who was who and their goals helped me keep them straightened out. My favorite part of the story is the jousting, where the knights on their horses give their all, sometimes even their lives, to win the hand of the beautiful Lady Basina. I don’t want to give anything away, but I have my favorite and cheered him on, hoping he would be victorious. I’m not saying whether he was successful or not. That's for you to discover. Treachery waits on the sidelines, however, and the outcome of the tournament is in doubt until the end.
 
Jack Whitsel has created evil characters that will do anything to achieve their goals. He also molded characters with good qualities that made me love them. Other characters are caught up in a world they want to escape, but have little hope of doing so, and I wished better lives for them. The author describes each scene in such detail that the reader feels like a part of the action. A warning: some scenes are quite graphic, with gory details and lots of blood. Be prepared.
 
That said, pick up a copy of SHADES OF VIRTUE and visit the fantasy world of knights and ladies and adventure. You’ll be glad you did.
 
The author provided me an e book copy for my honest review.
 
###   

 
 
About the author:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Jack Whitsel is an award winning author from Portland, Oregon. His favorite genres are fantasy and historical fiction with a medieval emphasis. Shades of Virtue is the second installment of the Dragon Rising series.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Twitter
 
Official Site
 
My blog
 
Publisher
 
 
Happy Reading. 
 


Friday, March 21, 2014

FUN FRIDAY!

I was supposed to have a post for today, but it wasn't sent to me so I'm going back to Fun Friday. Except I can't think of any fun I'm having today. I'm racking my brain (would you like to see that?) in an attempt to think of something fun I've done today. Nada comes to mind.

Going to the supermarket certainly isn't fun. At least I didn't lose my van keys the way I did one time. I did make a mess on the cat food aisle. When I picked up a sack of kitty litter to throw in the basket, I guess I didn't know my own strength. I threw the bag. It landed in the basket and split open. Wow! Litter flew everywhere. Luckily there were no witnesses, since I was the only person in the area at that time. So I grabbed another sack of litter and skedaddled out of there in a hurry. I did confess at the checkout counter. I thought they might be a bit suspicious when they saw all the litter mixed with my groceries. They forgave me. I think they were really glad to see me leave the store, though, and I maybe even heard a cheer that I left without causing another catastrophe. I signed my check "Anonymous" so they couldn't trace me. Oh, I forgot. My address and name are on the thing. Oh, well.

Are you having fun today?

Here are some random photos. They may be funny or not.

Tiger says "Okay, I'm ready to mow. Where's the grass?
 
I'm trying to slow down but can't find the brake.
 
Patches says "I want my picture printed."
 
Have a super weekend.
 
Happy Reading
 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

WELCOME SPRING!

Yes! Today is the first day of spring. I am so ready. The wind is blowing, typical for North Texas. The sun is shining. A nice day.
 
 
These are bluebonnets from a few years ago. We won't have any this year. No rain.
 
 
The hummingbirds haven't returned yet. Again, this is a sweetie from the past. I hope to put up my feeders this weekend and be prepared for our little visitors.
 
 
No paintbrush either. I live in hope that a few brave seeds will find their way to the surface.
 
 
I'm also watching for the butterflies to return.
And rain, rain, rain, I pray.
 
So, how is your first day of spring?
 
 
 


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

MY WRITING LIFE

My publisher, Lea, at MuseItUp Publishing suggested that we talk about our writing, the joys and also the stress. I'm cross posting this from the MuseItYoung and MuseItYA blog.
 
Are you a writer? If so you'll know what I'm talking about.
Do you want to be a writer? If so, best of luck to you.
 Here are some of my thoughts, both joys and stress of being a writer.
Of course, this applies to me. Everyone is different. Tell us your joys and stress.
First, here's my desk where I let my imagination go wild.
How I write!

I seldom make an outline. When a little voice whispers in my ear, telling me his/her story, I sit down at the computer and start writing. I let the character(s) show me the way. I ask them questions, and hopefully they give me answers. Sometimes I jot down what I think will happen next or in a later chapter. Sometimes the story happens that way; other times not.

I work better when I have a schedule. Since I usually write more than one story at a time, each day I plan which story to work on that day. On a yellow tablet I list my goals for the day. I do not always reach them. No problem. I circle the ones I did not accomplish to work on the next day.

Writing brings me joy. When the final two words, THE END, are written, I've accomplished my goal. Then the revisions start. In the meantime, I may be editing a forthcoming story for my editor. If that's happening, I set aside time to edit.

Writing is also stressful at times. When I spend all morning on one paragraph, and it still isn't right, frustration sets in. Time to put the story aside for another day. Also, waiting to hear on a submission can have me biting my fingernails. Does the publisher like the story? Does it stink? Should I give up and go back to teaching? All sorts of doubts about my ability as a writer surface.

Do I quit? No way. I suck in a breath and face my characters, hoping they have wonderful ideas for me today.

Happy Writing.


 



Monday, March 17, 2014

COMING ATTRACTION-THE MONSTER WITHIN

Be ready!
It won't be long!
THE MONSTER WITHIN
 
by Kelly Hashway
 


 
 

Blurb:


The moment seventeen-year-old Samantha Thompson crawls out of her grave, her second chance at life begins. She died of cancer with her long-time boyfriend, Ethan, by her side--a completely unfair shot at life.

But Ethan found a way to bring her back, like he promised he would. Only Sam came back wrong.

She's now a monster that drains others' lives to survive. And after she kills, she’s tortured by visions—glimpses into her victims would-have-been futures had she not killed them. Barely able to live with herself and trying to make things right, Sam ends up a pawn in a vicious game of payback within the local coven of witches.

But when the game reveals what Ethan had to do to save Sam, she must make a choice that will change all their lives forever.
 
##
Here's the link to The Monster Within on Goodreads. It's already up on a few Goodreads lists, so feel free to vote for it if you'd like.
 
 

Happy Reading!


Friday, March 14, 2014

COVER REVEAL PERFECT FOR YOU

I am delighted to share the cover and information for Author Ashelyn Drake's new YA novel,
PERFECT FOR YOU. 
Isn't it fantastic?
 
 

 
 
About the Book:
 
 
Perfect for You
by Ashelyn Drake
 
 
Release Date: September 2014
Swoon Romance
Summary from Goodreads:
 
Sophomore year in high school comes with its own set of problems. You're no longer a freshmen, but you're still two years away from ruling the school. So, you sit and languish in a kind of purgatory until junior year, when things start to get interesting.

That is, unless during your sophomore year, you find your boyfriend making out with another girl in front of your locker. Then, interesting takes on a whole new meaning, and that's what happened to seventeen-year-old Meg Flannigan. It's no wonder her self-esteem suffered a major hit.

Now a senior, Meg catches the eye of not one, but two guys at school (I know, right?). They happen to both be gorgeous, and each vies for her attention in the most flattering of ways. Sounds good, right? Not if one of the guys is her boyfriend, and the other one wants to be.

Meg doesn’t want to lose Ash. They’ve been together for almost five months, and she’s falling in love with him. But Noah. Ah, Noah. He’s the irresistible guy Meg has been crushing on for two years, and she isn’t ready to send him away either. But stringing both along could have disastrous results, leaving Meg in the cold once again.

One thing's certain. Meg needs to decide between Ash and Noah soon, or she'll lose her perfect match forever.

PERFECT FOR YOU was released previously as two novellas. Ashleyn wanted to give her readers more, and has decided to write an entire novel based around Meg's story.
 
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20706715-perfect-for-you

About the Author:
 

Ashelyn Drake is a New Adult and Young Adult romance author. While it’s rare for her not to have either a book in hand or her fingers flying across a laptop, she also enjoys spending time with her family. She believes you are never too old to enjoy a good swing set and there’s never a bad time for some dark chocolate. She is represented by Sarah Negovetich of Corvisiero Literary Agency.


Author Links:
http://ashelyndrake.wordpress.com/

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7075461.Ashelyn_Drake

https://twitter.com/AshelynDrake

https://www.facebook.com/AshelynDrake
 

Cover Reveal Organized By:
 



Be sure to put Ashelyn's latest on your reading list.

Happy Reading.

 
 

Monday, March 10, 2014

SHOUT O UT FOR STEPHEN TREMP'S ESCALATION

I am honored today to give a shout out for Stephen Tremp's new novel ESCALATION.
 
 
 
 
 
 
“I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones” - Albert Einstein In Escalation, the final installment to Stephen Tremp’s Breakthrough Trilogy, a seemingly innocent discovery in Einstein-Rosen Bridges, or wormholes, becomes a Pandora’s Box—opening doors to other unexpected and unpredictable realities such as parallel universes, time/space travel, and an evil hitchhiker from another dimension.
 
Great cover. That cloud sure makes me want to look inside.
 

Chase Manhattan has survived attempts on his life from numerous sources in his effort to destroy the technology. But he is far from safe. Now Chase and his comrades must not only break world renowned physicist Professor Nicholas Fischer out of prison a second time, but also smuggle him across hostile borders in Europe and the Middle East to prevent events threatening to spiral into World War III.
 

 
At stake: an end to Western civilization as we know it. The result: an epic clash where science and the supernatural take center stage, vying for mankind’s destiny. The setting is global as the world divides into an East vs. West climactic battle. The action is swift, adrenaline-charged, and non-stop. Unending twists and turns will keep the reader turning pages and wanting more.
 
Together, Breakthrough, Opening, and Escalation follow the lives of the unlikely participants from innocence to a coming of age through sacrifice, betrayal, passion, lust, unconditional love, and hope. Escalation is an international thriller and will appeal to fans of modern-day science fiction, action, horror, and a bit of romance.
 
Escalation Short Synopsis:
Together, Breakthrough, Opening, and Escalation follow the lives of the unlikely participants from innocence to a coming of age through sacrifice, betrayal, passion, lust, unconditional love, and hope. Escalation will appeal to fans of modern-day science fiction, action, and horror. Other BlurbsESCALATION: For those who know there is far more beyond our four dimensional continuum than our five senses can perceive.  
ESCALATION: an epic clash where science and the supernatural take center stage for mankind’s destiny. The setting is global and the adrenaline-charged action is non-stop.
 
ESCALATION is cued from current world events and scientific breakthroughs. Great cover, plot, editing, and reviews. Wormholes too!
 
ESCALATION speaks to our generation with its technological breakthroughs and struggle to use for good or for evil.
###
Happy Reading.



Friday, March 7, 2014

WRITER'S REBEL CREED 2014

 
It's Friday and time for my Writer's Rebel Creed. To learn more about this stop by S A Larsen's Blog. She's the creator of this great idea.
 
The past month I wrote every day from Monday to Friday.
I need to work on belief in my abilities.
I don't know that I'm fearless, but I am writing a new story. Does that count?
My middle name is "Revisions."
Marketing skills are a dismal failure. I have a couple of new ideas to try this month. We'll see.
I hope I've given back to my writing community. Have written a few reviews and left comments on blogs and Face Book.
I've read several books by other writers and hope that supports them.
 
 
 
 
This is another of Sheri's ideas. See it here.
She has a link to a video on the subject and poses the question of what happiness is.
I haven't watched the video, but reading her post really started me to thinking.
When am I happy?
What am I grateful for?
Why am I happy/grateful?
I'm happiest when I'm with those I love: my family.
I'm grateful for each of them.
It's about choices too.
There's so much more to it. Take a look. I'm going back to read more.
 
That's it for today.
Have a happy weekend.
 
 

 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

THE INSECURE WRITERS SUPPORT GROUP

It's the first week in March which means, THE INSECURE WRITERS SUPPORT GROUP! And boy, am I insecure today.
 
 
 
 
Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
 
Alex J. Cavanaugh and his co-hosts for the March 5 posting of the IWSG are Tina Downey, Elsie, Elizabeth Seckman, and Julie Flanders!
 
My post today is:
 
 
WHEN YOUR UNIVERSE SPINS OUT OF CONTROL
 
 
The day started out like any other. I planned to post this blog, check my emails, and write a bit. The universe had other ideas. My Internet connection would not connect. Well, being the computer challenged person that I am, I immediately panicked. Unplugged everything and then plugged everything back in and tried again. The modem lights kept blinking telling me they had no plans to let me on the Internet. This has happened before and the Internet always comes back. I'd install my new printer while I waited. (The other printer, which I really like, keeps telling me the black cartridge is missing or damaged or on holiday. I guess it's hiding from the printer. Anyhow, I've been through the drill of cleaning, etc. etc and saw no point in doing it again.
 
Instead, I decide to install my new printer wireless. Haha. No Internet. No can do. For the next hour I take stuff apart, put stuff together. Tell my cats to keep out of my way because I'm liable to explode any minute. I look up the phone number of my Internet provider. Long distance, of course, and I've yet to figure out how to use my cell to click on #1, or #2, or whatever to get me to the department I need to talk too.
 
I had to do something. The morning was wasting. So I looked at the cords to my printer. The one to hook up to the USB port on the computer was too short to reach the computer from the filing cabinet where I keep the printer. Okay, I could deal with that. I moved the filing cabinet closer to the computer on the desk. Worked like a charm. Now I have to see if the printer prints.
 
To end this novella, here's my advice for all you insecure writers like me.
 
Remember "This too shall pass." When your universe spins out of control, get busy with something else. I cleaned out one filing cabinet. I typed a letter. If I can print it I'll mail it. And now, as you can see since I'm writing this, my Internet service took pity on me and let me back on.
 
Hope your universe is good to you today. I'm off to my retired teacher's meeting. No writing done, but as Scarlet would say "Tomorrow is another day," or something like that. 




Tuesday, March 4, 2014

SPOTLIGHT ON YA AUTHOR JAMES MOSER


Title: Chasing Prophecy

Author: James Moser

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Thriller

Ebook available at: Kindle | Smashwords  









Book Description:



Mo is a shy teen who is just trying to survive high school. He has secretly fallen in love with a girl named Prophecy who lives with a group that some call a commune and others call a cult. When she disappears, Mo must find the courage to face the monster that her family has become. Chasing Prophecy is a contemporary coming of age story that is heartwarming, suspenseful, and beautifully written. This book chronicles the adolescence of one boy who must transform himself to save the girl of his dreams.



Kirkus Reviews:



"A stellar read for teens and adults, full of hilarious growing pains, tenderness and a few surprises. Moser’s debut is an unflinching young-adult novel that sees a group of friends tested by bigotry and the illegal machinations of a religious cult. The author serves up an irresistibly wisecracking narrator in Mo Kirkland. Every page ripples with a controlled cleverness. There’s also a rawness to this tale similar to that which many teens face in the real world. Moser can wax rhapsodic about young love, but he shows that he knows how to raise the tension in the second half of the novel."




Excerpt:



Richard said, “Why are you even talking, Maureen, I mean Maurice? Go sit in your highchair and let the grownups work this out, OK, little guy?”



Even with my new growth spurt, he never missed a chance to let me know I lived every second of my life ten seconds from a surfing lesson.



Max said coldly, “Don’t you clowns talk to him that way.”



Kazzy said, “—or we will kick your cracker asses.”



I looked up at her and realized I’d been looking up to her my whole life. She was calm and still when she was standing up for herself. She didn’t have to stand on her tiptoes or raise her voice. When I tried to stand up for myself, I knew people saw the question marks in my eyes.



Kazzy’s eyes were full of answers, and I loved her. Deep inside me I felt something break, heal, and get stronger all at once.



Richard watched another carful of mourners pass us by. “Your little cult funeral all done?” he said.



Kazzy said, “Why do you say ‘Cult’? Do you see a fence keeping anyone in or out? Do you see us trying to blow anything up? There’s not a weapon on our whole ranch. You crackers have more guns than I’ve seen in my whole life.”



I pulled out my pocketknife, found a smooth spot in the pine railing, and pushed the blade into the sun-bleached log. I worked the blade up and down, back and forth, deeper and deeper.



Kazzy said, “So let me get this straight. One of us jumps, and you don’t say ‘cult’ for two years? You don’t say a word to any of us all the way til graduation night?”



“That’s the deal.”



I pushed the tip of the blade across the wood. I made a rectangle and rounded off the corners.



I pulled off my Seattle Mariners baseball cap and dropped in my keys and phone. I found a safe corner to stash my stuff near a gigantic steel bracket joining two logs. I walked to the other side of the bridge, across from the others.



Richard said, “We’re waiting, Kazzy, I mean Prophecy.”



“Hey, Richard!” I said.



He looked at me. They all looked at me.



“Catch!” I yelled, tossing him my knife. I said, “It’s August twentieth. If you can’t spell ‘August,’ just write eight-dash-twenty.”



They all stared at me. I held up three fingers. “Redneck Honor,” I said. I pulled off my shirt, dropped it to the ground, and ran right at Richard and Boo. They stepped back. Their eyes were full of questions.



For the first time in my life, my eyes were full of answers.



“He’ll never . . .” Richard started to say.



“Mo, DON’T!” Kazzy yelled.



Max screamed, “Oh, YEAH!!!”



My left foot landed on the orange Bigfoot “X”.



My right foot landed on the low rail. I pushed off.



I closed my eyes. I opened my eyes. I saw sky and mist kicked up by white water crashing into rocks.



I closed my eyes. I opened my eyes. I looked down. I was either going to just clear the boulder closest to the bridge or I was getting an ambulance ride, or I was about to die.



I screamed, “AAAAAAAAAAAAHH!”



The bottoms of my feet smacked the water hard, then all of me was underneath, then my feet hit the bottom. Knees and elbows on rock. I looked up through ten feet of clear, freezing water. Through the bumpy surface I could see the shapes of my friends, the colors of their clothes. I pushed off the bottom and shot through the surface.



Bloody. Dizzy. Alive. Icy water—snow the day before—stretched my skin tight.



I squinted up at the bridge, saw Max and Kazzy jumping up and down, arms over their heads, screaming. I pulled myself up to the flat top of a giant rock. I stood and raised my arms to the sky, the mist throwing little rainbows all around me. I held up the three-fingered redneck honor salute. My friends threw back their heads and laughed. They turned to Richard and Boo, showed them three fingers. The bullies walked slowly to their car. I stood on a rock but felt myself floating.



I thought, So this is what it means to fly.




About the Author:



James Moser has always loved stories in all forms. He is in his fourteenth year of working with high school students. The author’s goal was to write a book that would inspire even his most reluctant readers. Young adults have always inspired him. As such, he wanted to show teenagers transforming themselves to overcome obstacles, which is what he watches them do, every day.




Moser has a B.A. in English and a Master’s degree in Secondary English Education. He lives in Seattle with his beautiful wife and eight year old son. When he’s not reading and writing, or thinking about reading and writing, he’s watching way too much television while snacking on frozen treats from Trader Joe’s. Man, those things are good.





Where to find James Moser:


Facebook


Twitter

Goodreads






Monday, March 3, 2014

NOT A DROP TO DRINK REVIEW

March, 2014
In like a lion,
Out like a lamb.
It sure seems to be working that way. Sunday we had thunder, lightning, hail, sleet, and snow, all at the same time. In all my years, and they've been quite a few, I've never seen such weather. Think spring, think spring.
Today, I want to share the latest book I've read with you. It's one that I can relate to because of our three year drought, resulting in lake levels dropping and our water usage being limited. The moisture from Sunday will help. It won't fill the lakes, however. The events in this book could one day come true, in my opinion.
 
 
 
NOT A DROP TO DRINK
by Mindy McGinnis
 
Synopsis from Good Reads:
 
Regret was for people with nothing to defend, people who had no water.

Lynn knows every threat to her pond: drought, a snowless winter, coyotes, and, most importantly, people looking for a drink. She makes sure anyone who comes near the pond leaves thirsty, or doesn't leave at all.

Confident in her own abilities, Lynn has no use for the world beyond the nearby fields and forest. Having a life means dedicating it to survival, and the constant work of gathering wood and water. Having a pond requires the fortitude to protect it, something Mother taught her well during their quiet hours on the rooftop, rifles in hand.

But wisps of smoke on the horizon mean one thing: strangers. The mysterious footprints by the pond, nighttime threats, and gunshots make it all too clear Lynn has exactly what they want, and they won’t stop until they get it….

With evocative, spare language and incredible drama, danger, and romance, debut author Mindy McGinnis depicts one girl’s journey in a barren world not so different than our own
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Review:
 
Water is precious. Without water they say a person can live for only 3 to 10 days. Have you ever thought of what you would do if your supply of water suddenly was gone? No? Maybe you ought to, because it could happen.
NOT A DROP TO DRINK, the YA debut novel of Author Mindy McGinnis, deals with protecting the water supply of sixteen-year-old Lynn and her mother, as well as other troubles that confront them. Their situation takes the reader on a dangerous journey with the woman and her daughter as they do whatever is necessary to preserve the pond in their backyard from those who would take it for their own. From the time she was nine years old Lynn has known how to kill to protect not only their water but their home, as well. Their survival depends on it.
The author has given each character in NOT A DROP TO DRINK a distinct personality that makes the reader care for them. Lynn has not grown up like a normal teenager. Her life has been one of survival instead. Death is always nearby, waiting for one mistake, for one unguarded moment. Who can Lynn trust, besides her mother? Stebbs, the old man that lives nearby, is one of my favorite characters. Then there’s little Lucy, five years old, and sixteen-year-old Eli, people trying to make the best with what they have.
NOT A DROP TO DRINK is a story of survival, family, friendship, and love. It’s also a story of hate, greed, murder, and men that strive to achieve their goals no matter the cost. Some scenes are graphic, but necessary. This is not a light read. Ms. McGinnis’ novel will haunt you as you consider the possibility that the events in her book could happen. A must read for not only YA readers, but also for adults.
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Happy Reading.