Monday, November 28, 2011


What am I reading now?  Beyonders: A World Without Heroes (Brandon Mull)

Annd. . . what do I think so far?  Well that's obvious: falling into a hippo's mouth can only mean one thing--Jason will have to save the world from an evil magician, Maldor, using a single, enchanted word. There are a lot of twist and turns to keep readers interested in the new world Brandon Mull has created for the Beyonders series. Humor and action will keep the readers turning the pages as Jason and Rachel work together to save this world and find a way to get back to their own world.

William Noble stated in Conflict, Action & Suspense that we should considerate the 3 M's in using characters to establish theme in stories:

1) Motives: Why does a character do what they do?

2) Memories: What in this character's past makes them do what they do?

3) Mirages: How does this character fool him/herself about what is happening and why s/he did something?

By asking these questions of various characters, the theme of the story gets more complex and the reader has more ways to connect with the theme.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Scene It

What am I reading now?  Silence (Becca Fitzpatrick)
Annnd. . . what do I think so far?  I was thrown by the opening--she has selective amnesia, Patch is nowhere in sight and several months have passed. I'm about half-way into the story now, and I like feeling the confusion the main character, Nora, who woke up in a cemetery. I'm kind of nervous that she's going to fall in love with a character from the past book. Not that I thought Patch was all that great for her, but I'm invested in their relationship. I actually think a new guy might be good for her. *feeling disloyal* Unless he goes all bad-A angel on her too.

Scene ----> Sequel

You may have noticed that I'm studying scene development--since I've blogged about it before. I want to find out how to craft or design scenes that reflect the mood, emotion and tension of the part of the story I'm working on. Although a novel has many scenes that move the plot along, it's not all scenes. Between scenes are sections called sequel.

Sequels allow the reader time to process what has just happened in a scene.

Jack M. Bickham (Scene & Structure) lists the four classic elements of a sequel:
1) Emotion
2) Thought
3) Decision
4) Action

He states that sequel allows the author to highlight or "amplify any given portion" of the scene that precedes it. What did the POV character take away from the conflict just experienced?

Monday, November 14, 2011


Congratulations, Sassy! 

You won the Amazon Gift Card.

HaPpy ReAdiNg!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Giveaway Hop

What am I reading now? Iron Knight (Julie Kagawa)

Annd. . . what do I think so far? I have loved this series! And this book is no exception. Really fun. It starts off with two favorite characters from the other three books, Ash (think gorgeous) and Puck (think great guy) and their strained tolerate/hate friendship.Yes, I admit, Ash is a little more favorite than Puck. Yum. Okay, you can't actually call them friends, but I will here and you'll have to go read it and decide that one for yourself. Then mix in the creatures of Fairie, including a Big Bad Wolf (not a huff and puff kind; but big and bad fits). This is a great read and a wonderful book for this series.

I'm So Thankful! 

I have a great family. A job I love. A fun second career--writing. (Right, it's not a career yet, but it will be.)  Welcome to a BLOG HOP celebrating a month of giving thanks.

If you'd like to win a $20 Amazon (US) Gift Card,
     Be or become a follower (by clicking on the "join this site" button on my right-sidebar)
     •Leave a comment about what you are thankful for
     Leave your email address (in case you win)

You can see the other blogs participating by clicking on this icon.

If you're a WRITER, click over to the iWriteNetwork and join with other writers in an online community of learning and support for writers and authors.

You can enter the Giveaway Blog Hop on iWriteNetwork's Blog, too

Talk to you later--I've got to go finish Iron Knight.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Author Interviews

What am I reading?  Variant (Robison Wells)

Annnd. . . what do I think so far?
Do you remember this part in Finding Nemo? How they felt when they entered the EAC? Here's a reminder.

So, it's kind of like that with this book: At first I was like, this is like Maze Runner. *flip* Then I was like, this is like Lord of the Flies. *pulled with the current*  Then I was like Whoa! Big TWIST! Loved the rest of the book!

Author Interviews
 I'm with a online group of writers called iWriteNetwork. One of my assignments is to do a couple of interviews each month with authors to get their tips on how to improve your writing. The interviews are archived on our site.

You can visit to listen to any of them at

So far I've interviewed Betsy Love (author of Identity), Tristi Pinkston (author of 8 books including my favorite of hers--Agent in Old Lace) and Kristen Chandler (author of Wolves, Boys and Other Things That Might Kill Me and newly released, Girls Don't Fly).

Click on BlogSpotRadio on our home page to listen.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

NaNo Excerpt

This was kinda disturbing to write--might be to read too.  It's a thriller. . . enough said.

           Annie's flat on her stomach. Her heels kick wildly behind her, toward the sky or toward the man pushing her down. One hand flings behind her, taking impotent swipes in his direction. Wrestling, twisting to free herself. My horse is completely extended beneath me, running in full strength. The moments when all four feet are off the ground, I will it to fly.  But it strikes the ground again and again.
            My mind races ahead to the side of the lake where a man holds Annie at the water’s edge. Blood drums against my neck. Fury is dammed just behind my eyes. If I could run faster, I would jump from my saddle here and race to her aid. I imagine the crack of his head and his warm blood spilling in payment for the terror Annie feels.
            He turns my way. Possibly he hears my horse’s hooves pounding toward him. Maybe his heart tells him he will die here. Likely he misjudges my age of fifteen to not be a threat. Still I’m far enough away that he continues his business, pressing her face in the water. Her fight lessens moment by moment.
            Each stride of my horse beats a rhythm to our father’s refusal to pay the ransom to have Annie returned safely. No, I won’t pay. No, they won’t hurt her. No, I won’t be blackmailed. The rhythm has played through my thoughts a hundred times.
            The man shoves her face deeper into the mud when he stands and flees across the grass, toward a far off stand of willows.
            “Annie!” I leap from my seat. Her legs are still. Her body doesn’t move. Her blonde hair floats on the surface in a perfect halo. When I pull her from the water, she doesn’t respond. Mud cakes her nose, mouth, eyes. There’s no rise at all for breath. She’s dead.
            Though for an instant, I’m stunned. She’s dead—go! I remount my horse and follow the man whose atrocity has set his own punishment. I catch him before he enters the trees and ram my boot into the back of his neck as my horse lopes past him. He thuds to the mossy dirt. I turn for another pass, this time catching the heel of my boot on the man’s nose. He falls again.
            He isn’t dead. I drag him behind my horse back to the edge of the water. Tie his arms with his bloody shirt and pull his pants below his knees to cinch them there. And wait.
            His face bleeds from his nose and mouth and various cuts. His chest rises and falls but his eyes are shut. I wait. My horse grazes on the tender grass and sips water. When his eyelids flutter, I move to his side. In minutes, he seems somewhat coherent. A rope fills his mouth and ties behind his head.
            Leaning close to his ear, I tell him what he didn’t care about. “Annie was my sister. She was pure and precious, and you are going to die for your crime against her.” I drag him by the hair into the water. The blood from his head leaches into the lapping waves. His feeble state makes him too weak to free himself. Placing one hand on his forehead and the other on his neck, I slowly push his head below the surface. Face up—I want him to watch me as he dies.
            His hips and back wrestle to lift his head, but I hold it steadily on the bottom. Until his twisting stops. Until the bubbles stop. Until I no longer see his grimace in the murky water.