Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Reading Challenge

What am I reading now?  The Sharpest Blade (Sandy Williams, Shadow Reader #3)
Annnd . . . what do I think so far?  I am so sad to see this series ending. I know--I'd never want the war to go on and on just for the sake of my entertainment, but I've enjoyed it so much! Great urban fantasy.
          McKenzie was recruited to work for the King in a fight against rebels, that was 10 years ago, and from the moment she started, she had to leave her normal human life behind. When she was captured by the rebels, she found the lines between good and evil in the war were blurry at best and nonexistent the rest of the time. Who should she believe? Who could she trust with her life? Or the lives of her friends? Or the fate of the Realm?
          All the books are out now and the story ends with this book. Enjoy!

Reading Challenge
Ring out the old year and ring in the new!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

6 Essential Resources

What am I reading now? Awakening (Christy Dorrity)

Annd . . . what do I think so far?  McCayla thinks magic's not real, outside of books that is, until her Aunt Avril visits while on a business trip (she's a psychic for the FBI) and pulls her into the hunt for supernatural killer, awakening McCayla's own magical abilities. On the night she has a solo in her ballet recital, she wanders down a school hallway, finding a dance competition. Excited about the energy the dancers bring to their steps and curious to learn more about it, McKayla approaches the school's janitor, mute and crippled, to teach her Irish dance.
          I love the mix of Celtic mythology, a geis (curse), Irish dancing and relatable characters--oh, and throw in some high school drama and teenage romance. You'll enjoy this book!

6 Books for Writer Wannabes
When you're starting work on a novel, your first novel, you don't know how much you don't know--at least Deanna and I didn't. We just took off writing! The story evolved from a character we felt like we knew. It was a thrilling ride to write a chapter and share that with our family or friends and get their feedback--of course it was all positive. Then when the last chapter was written, it was ready to be sent out for publication--or so we thought. Again, we didn't know what we didn't know.

A few years and several novels later, we are starting to get it. Writing is part heart and part head. Our first attempts were all heart. Since then we've been on a journey to collect the knowledge we need to make our books interesting to more than our close relatives.

A few months ago, a friend of mine told me she had a great idea for a novel (I didn't even know she wanted to write novels.) and wondered how to start writing it. When she told me her concept, I wanted to read it--I hope she writes that story. She asked some questions about structure and scenes. So I started looking over my book case to determine which books I went to most often when stuck while writing. What would I recommend to a new writer?
Here's the list:
Story Engineering by Larry Brooks on story structure
Character Emotion & Viewpoint by Nancy Kress
Make a Scene by Jordan E Rosenfeld
Sin and Syntax by Constance Hale on words, sentences and beautiful writing
45 Master Characters by Victoria Lynn Schmidt
20 Master Plots and How to Build Them by Ronald B. Tobias
It's like having college classes in your lap.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

"My Books are Water"

What am I reading now?  Copied (S.M. Anderson)
Annnd . . . what do I think so far?
Adopted off the black market, Alexander Mitchell, has no idea his DNA is copyrighted and property of military weapons giant Texacom Defense. Nor that his DNA is being used to develop an army of clones. 
          When the company discovers he was not properly disposed of 17 years ago, they send an assassin copy, BETA23, to terminate Xan and cover it up.
Narrowly escaping BETA23’s first attempt, Xan teams up with Lacey, a genetically engineered genius, he’s surprised to find common ground with— only they’re awkward together. Half of the time she stares at Xan like the science project he is and the other half...let’s just say Xan can’t keep his eyes off her lips.
"My Books are Water"
WOW! Mark Twain considered his own books water in comparison with other works. Maybe Shakespeare did as well as he wrote for audiences filled with common people. 

The best books I've read, the ones that touch my heart and stay with me long after the last page is turned are the books that opened a new understanding about myself, others or the world. Some of them are masterpieces--I fell in love with Shakespeare and Poe in high school. Others have been well loved for more than a century--Jane Eyer and Persuasion. Some rocked the literary world--Book Thief. Or the pop culture world--Harry Potter. Still other favorites were popular within a genre--Shopaholic, Mystic and Rider, Divergent.

My daughters love to read too! (Yes, I did one right as a mom.) And their list of what is great is different from mine or from each other's. So that's the thing. What might be water to me is wine to someone else and vice versa.
Are you a writer? Write the book! Don't worry if it is water or wine. Tell the story as honestly as you can and it will find a heart that can love it.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

HTML Cheat Sheet

What am I reading now?  The Seven Year King (Kiki Hamilton, The Faerie Ring #3)

Annd . . . what do I think so far?  The UnSeelie kingdom has to make a sacrifice to the Seelie kingdom, of which Tiki is the queen, to remain separate. This is the year and the UnSeelie King Donogal has chosen Fiona's love interest. To make it worst the Lithe wants to eat Fiona's heart and kill Tiki.

The tension is amping up in this book. There is a little more to do with the Princes of England, bringing them in from the first book too. Book three is great.

Learn HTML and get a great Cheat Sheet

I've started learning HTML and CSS to be able to fix things on my website and blog--and generally because I just like to keep learning things. I ran across two resources that are WONDERFUL. Check them out:

Codecademy: What would you like to learn about computers?  You can find it here! The lessons are sequenced well and I can always go back and review anything in past lessons I need a refresher on. Oh, and it's free!

Webmonkey also had a great post on an HTML cheat sheet. It keeps all the basics at my fingertips while I'm learning.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

2013 Debut Author Giveaway Hop

What am I reading now? Altered (Jennifer Rush)

Annnd . . . what do I think so far? I really enjoyed devoured this book. Great new author to watch! I was so intrigued by the "what ifs" in this book that I read it straight through, ignoring everything around me. And the best part?
Book #2 in this series, Erased, comes out next month! Can't wait.

You can win this book in the Hop this week.

To enter, all you need to do is:
1. Become a follower of my blog. (click on the blue "Join this Site" button and follow directions. You must appear in the blog followers to be eligible in the drawing. The button is in the right side-bar, about half-way down.)

2. Leave a comment on this post and tell me your reading resolution for this year. 
If your e-mail address isn't visible through your Blogger profile, please also leave it with the comment so I can notify you if you win. You can enter from now until midnight Mountain Time on December 10, 2013.

That's it! You are now entered. Now please visit all my friends on their blogs to sign up for more give-aways in the