Monday, December 26, 2011

Best of 2011

What am I reading now? A Beautiful Dark (Jocelyn Davies)                                


Annd. . . what do I think of it so far? Normal high school stuff here--sorta-selfish best friend, have to deal with guys, orphan with sketchy history, skiing any chance she gets, war in Heaven and fallen angles--oh, right, not your normal high school experience.
ENTER to win a SIGNED copy of Variant by Robison Wells
     This is new in 2011--fun book. Full of twists.
     •Be or become a follower (by clicking on the "join this site" button on my right-sidebar)
     •Leave a comment about your favorite book of 2011
     Leave your email address (in case you win)

The blurb for Variant:
Benson Fisher thought that a scholarship to Maxfield Academy would be the ticket out of his dead-end life.
He was wrong.
Now he’s trapped in a school that’s surrounded by a razor-wire fence. A school where video cameras monitor his every move. Where there are no adults. Where the kids have split into groups in order to survive.
Where breaking the rules equals death.

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Update 1-4-12
*****And the winner is: RunawayBridalPlanner*****
Congratulations!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Come Let Us Adore Him

Merry Christmas!
Remember the Season with the simplicity of a child's faith.











Wishing you joy and peace in this holiday season.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Short Stories

What am I reading now?   Transcendent 
(by 

Annd . . . what do I think so far? This is a compilation of short stories, all with a paranormal twist. What's better than ghosts and hugging? Blood and romance? Vampires and kissing?
Nothing!
What a fun read. Each story has a little fear and an enticing love interest.
Enjoy!

You may want to visit Wendy Swore's website
( http://wendyswore.blogspot.com ) to sign up for her give aways!


I'm giving away an ebook of Transcendent. 
Leave a comment and your email to be in the drawing.

And you can get this book here:
eBook on Nook: Coming Soon!
5 Tips for Writing Short Stories

1. Pick one point in time for the main character--a tragedy, a life changing experience, a moment of clarity.

2. Start as close to the climax as possible. Hit this hard upfront, in the first paragraph if possible.

3. Include three sets of choices and consequences (No, 3 is not magical, but you have to start somewhere)

4. Order those from bad to worse.

5. Include romance (this is my personal favorite tip for any story)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Caramel Pie

What am I reading now?  Clockwork Prince (Cassandra Clare)

Annd. . . what do I think so far?  I love Will's character and hope he lives to complete the series. He's a little reckless--so endearing! Tessa is attracted to both Will and Jem. Jem seems like the sure bet as far as a good relationship goes. Where's the story in that? So of course, I'm expecting Will to have her heart. 

I haven't given you an original recipe lately. You'll love this one. I made it up for my husband's birthday. Yummy!

Caramel Pie
Crust:
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
3/4 cup corn flake crumbs (all graham crackers makes the crust too sweet)
6 tablespoons butter, melted

Mix together and press into a 9-inch pie pan. Bake at 350 for 5 minutes. Chill completely before filling.

Filling:
1 bag white chocolate chips
4 tablespoons butter 
1/4 teaspoon rum extract
     Melt these together

3/4 cup milk
1 small package instant white chocolate pudding
     Mix together in small bowl
     Microwave for 20 second to take the chill off then mix with white chocolate mixture

2 cups heavy whipping cream, whipped to stiff peaks

Fold both mixtures together.

Caramel Nuts:
2 Tablespoons sugar
2 Tablespoons water
1/3 cup pecans
     Boil together over medium heat then reduce to a simmer; cook until all the syrup is gone (about 6 minutes). Cool the nuts, spread out on a parchment covered cookie sheet. Stir occasionally to separate the nuts.

Assembly:
Squirt caramel topping randomly on the crust.
Spread half the filling mixture over the caramel.
Squirt more caramel topping over the filling.
Cover with remaining filling.

Chill for 2-3 hours. Serve with whipped cream and caramel drizzled over the top. Sprinkle with nuts.

Enjoy!
p.s. It's very rich.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

We Need Conflict

What am I reading now?  Hex Hall (Rachel Hawkins)

Annd. . . what do I think so far?  I'm a sucker for voice--so you know I'll love this book.

What happens when you're a witch, who casts a love spell to help a crying girl, who wants to date the football star, who was probably parking with his girlfriend, when he drives through the wall of the school to get to the prom to find the object of his spell-induced infatuation, who freaks out at the reality of you being a witch and rats you out?

You are sent to a reform school. A 200 year-old prison-like school, think Alcatraz for magical misfits. Seriously, that much talent in one place is going to be fun. I was laughing by page 2.

We Need Conflict
Lots of it. Overwhelming, rip your dreams apart conflict.
Oh, no--not for ourselves. For someone else.
We'll watch.

Stories are interesting because of the conflict they introduce. It's a promise they make.
Things will go bad. Then they'll get worse. Then it will be so dysfunctional all looks lost.
Then it's resolved.

Pain. It feels so good when it stops.

Good students are boring--bad students are captivating.
Happy families are boring--messed up families are interesting.
Good weather is boring--tornadoes are mesmerizing.
Happy couples are boring--love triangles are amusing.
Good manners are boring--social awkwardness is entertaining. 

This week's goal in my writing is to stay in the right-hand side of these comparisons.
More conflict, please!