Wednesday, March 30, 2011
When Rachel Morgan heads west to go before the council of goodie goodie witches, bridesmaid dress firmly in tow, she thinks that arriving on the west coast is going to be the exciting part of her adventure. But when you toss an elf, a witch, a pixie and a ghost in the car and pick up the person who is following you... things are bound to get a little more interesting.
I have loved Trent, bad guy or not, since the first books of this bestselling and awesome series. I was thrilled to find that he played a major role in the newest of Harrison's The Hollows series.
And Trent lived up to expectation, sparking arguments while looking dashing as we travel with this mixed up cast of paranormal favorites. I can compare the Rachel Morgan books to cooking. If you like the ingredients, it only tastes better when you mix them up, let them simmer and then blow off the steam so you can gobble up the tasty treat. Harrison has deftly built this world, building book upon book and as we get this far in, readers who have followed this plotline will find this book a treat that was well worth the wait.
My only complaint? I didn't want it to end and am now itching to get my grubby paws on Book 10!
Buy it here.
Having been a fan of Madeleine L'Engle and gobbled up her books when I was younger, I was amazed to find what seemed to be a voice similar to hers. While capturing a very modern and fresh spin on YA Dystopian fiction, this story still had that eerie feel that L'Engle was so good at creating.
Vi, the snarky and fiercely independent lead character in this stunning work, is tossed around in a sea of lies and control freaks. Rebelling against the control and trying to see through the lies, she wants to find a way to live outside what society has planned for her. Teenage girls, so easily pressured by what the world expects of them and what the media determines to be correct behavior/dress, will hopefully be inspired by this headstrong heroine.
To balance out Vi's fears and desire to break from her predetermined mold, Johnson created a hero who was equally willing to challenge the expectations put upon their people. I won't give any spoilers but I will say he was the kind of hero that made you want them to work it out while he appalled you by his occasional flipping of sides and abandonment of Vi.
All in all, the characters worked well together. The world building was exquisite and detailed making it very believable. I couldn't put it down and was actually irritated when my real life got in the way of me finding out what would happen next. I hope that this book will receive the acclaim it deserves as I found it fascinating. I will be reading it to my kids in the near future and know it is one of those books that won't gather dust as I am sure I will be rereading it often.
Preorder it here.
Monday, March 28, 2011
As a writer, I feel it is my job to tell the story that hasn't been told yet. Which is a strange thought in and of itself as every story has been told. The tricky part is telling them in a new way... with a voice that has to be heard. Because if it is worth reading, it is the voice that really speaks to you. How many different spins have recently been put on the age old story of Little Red Riding Hood and how diversified these stories have been from the traditional little girl who doesn't follow directions and ends up gobbled up by a wolf? From Hoodwinked to Red Riding Hood, the movies have shown different spins on this one plotline. Then you have Sisters Red which has sisters fighting darkness... in red hooded cloaks. So many different ways to tell one story...
But the story that most writers never tell, the one that actually directs the story, is their own.
Outside influences change the tone and pace and even the genre that we feel most comfortable in. Look at the eminently popular and epically famous Stephen King. He went from writing that which horrified him, his own nightmares, to writing The Eyes of the Dragon... high fantasy/fairytale. He then moved back into the realm of the scary with Duma Key... but it was a different scary than that which he created in younger days.
What influences me? Life comes at you with guns blazing and we are left in its wake like ships bobbing in a turbulent sea of change.
I read something trivial, something everyday, the newspaper, the other day. In a Dear Abby style column there was an article about a grandfather... I should have kept it but I didn't. It was something to the effect of Grandpa turned 79 today...
Grandpa brushed his hair... He waited... He had so many kids and grandkids and greatgrandkids. But none of them came. He waited to cut the cake while he ate his dinner so that they could do it together. He waited to nap so he would be awake when they came...
No one came. This had me bawling like a loon at work. How many times do the things that really matter get lost in the tidal flow of what we HAVE to do... what is required of us? There was a tv series, Dead Like Me that HBO aired in three seasons and one movie but was sadly canceled that touched on the absolute triviality of life and how we squander it... missing those who matter the most and the moments that we should have or could have had.
My son has been sick. They haven't told us why. My health has sucked for years. But sadder... my dad has been sick. My dad is old, 80, and used to be active. He used to be busy. Now he is resigned to live out the rest of his days in a chair.
So I took him out after work the other day. Usually he or my mom aren't up to it. But they were willing and I was off work. So we got in the car and drove. I bought him a strawberry shake. We wandered around. I took him and showed him the park that me and the kids camp at. We talked about going fishing when the weather turns. We just drove and looked around and it was good.
But so soon life catches up and we are forced back into the should dos and could dos. We are blasted daily with what we need to be considered by others successful or 'comfortable' but what would really make me comfortable? More days 'doing nothing' with my kids. Doing nothing with my parents while they are here. Seeing my friends and making memories.
Life won't allow me that luxury. But it should. Because at the end of the day we are all just blood and bones and the things that matter are not marked by a designer label or fancy car. They are marked by the moments we take to change someone else. To be there with those we love and live on in their hearts...
Today, readers, Make a difference. Be someones light. Do the little things that people will stand around your casket and laugh through their tears about...
I know I will. People may think I am weird. They may giggle at stories of me... Like when I got pissed at the deer that hit my car and chased it with a crowbar or when I left on a smoke break and ran away to Canada. But I know this... they will remember.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
There are quite a few things that make me do a little happy dance. Sometimes it is the small things like the melting of good chocolate on my tongue. Or the sound of my kids laughing...
Or that glorious moment of anticipation when a book comes in that I have been looking forward to. There are a few authors that incite that level of anticipation in me.
I love to read young adult novels. I used to read them because I was, after all, a young adult. Robin McKinley, L J Smith... there were quite a few authors that really stuck out for me as a kid. Judy Blume... I could go on and on. Now I read them with the excuse that I am pre-reading them for my kids. But really, the genre has the ability to encompass so many things that we struggle with daily... that we have a hard time talking about. And YA books will bring all of that out into the sunshine and make it okay to talk about.
In honor of a certain book that I have been waiting for- Possession by Elana Johnson- I am going to do a series of blogs leading up to the June 6, 2011 release. When we get a bit closer to the release, I will post my review of the book here and on GoodReads and there may even be a giveaway in the future... *waggles eyebrows*
If we get really lucky, Elana herself may stop in and tell us a little about herself and the book...
Until then, I will gloat that I have a shiny new copy of Posession (gorgeous cover) and I will pass along more information as it becomes available :)
P.S. If you want to preorder your copy of this book, it is available on Amazon, here.
Also, you can find out what all the excitement is about here.
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
It has been awhile since I have had a contest.
This doesn't seem fair, somehow.
I like free stuff. I figure you do too...
So how about a chance to win?
All you have to do to enter is tell me your favorite flavor of ice cream. Seem too simple?
Spring is coming. Temperatures are rising...
Ice cream is good.
Email me for your chance to win you can take your pick between a free PDF of either Odd Stuff-- my bestselling paranormal and beginning to the series-- or Clothing Optional, an erotic short story that released in December.
So tell me, what flavor fills your cone?
Contest deadline is March 6th. Entries can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org