Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Style Beyond the Simile

What am I reading now? Sividious Stark (Greg Park)

Annnd . . . what do I think so far?  Being smart and logical is all well and good until you also add in mischievous. Science geek, Sividious Stark knows how to retaliate against a bully without getting caught, using chemistry to embarrass the oaf.   His father was a gifted scientist until a tragic accident took his life. When Sividious meets Aya, a fairy-looking creature who is being forced to participate in "The Games".  A gladiator-style event for beings from all over the universe. It isn't an honor; it's brutal slavery, fight to the death. Sividious knows he must try to help.
     I enjoyed this book and highly recommend it to be included in every teacher's classroom library. Oh, and if you have a teen or tween (that's also a high reader), I bet they'll love this book.

Style Beyond the Simile
What separates a great book from an amazing book?
For me, it's the writing. Not the story or the character. Great books have superior elements for both of those traits. But the choices the author made as the sentences were constructed that tell the story are the point that separates great from amazing.

Here are a few of my favorite sentence choices:

Anaphora: This is when 2 or more sentences share the same words or phrases, creating a cohesiveness between the two sentences. Each sentence becomes more powerful!

Synecdoche: This is when a word or phrase that is a part is used to name the whole. For example, "hands" can refer to the people who are hired on the cattle ranch.

Metonymy: This is a little like the synecdoche, but this time the word or phrase is not part of the word it's replacing. This is like when the word Wall Street refers to the men and women who work there.

Chiasmus: This creates a familiar structure by flipping the phrases. "I am stuck on Band-Aid brand, 'cause Band-Aid's stuck on me."

Antithesis: Two contradictory or contrasting words/phrases used together. "It was the best of times. It was the worst of times."

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

"Dissension" and Author Adrienne Monson

Interview with
author of
Dissension


Tell us a little bit about yourself:
I've always loved reading. My dad's influence, I'm sure. He always had four bookshelves brimming with paperbacks, and boxes full as well. When he moved out of state, he gave me my inheritance:  two bookshelves with more than enough books to fill them! I was delighted. Besides my voracious appetite for books, I love to exercise, eat delicious foods, and socialize with friends. I'm married with two little ones. My toddler keeps me active and helps me practice having patience while my oldest is steadily becoming smarter than both his parents. 

And about your book:
Dissension is book one of the Blood Inheritance Trilogy. It's about vampires and immortals (yes, they are two different species) battling each other to find the prophesy child. Leisha is a reluctant vampire who's trying to juggle her sense of morality with her duty to the vampires. Her estranged husband, an immortal, has just come back into the picture. She never stopped loving him and is wondering if he can ever love her again.

Why would someone want to read your book?
It's an easy read (what can I say - I'm not that complex of a person) that is full of action while recreating old myths.

What is your writing process like?
First is a rough draft. I skip the outline process and just write out the draft. Then I go back and revise. I may change or add several things from the rough draft. After that, I write detailed bios on each character. Then I revise the manuscript with the characters' personalities at the forefront of my brain. At this point, I send it out to beta readers and look at their feedback. After another revision with their notes in mind, I send it out again to my critique group for a thorough inspection. It usually just takes one more revision after that, and it's ready to be submitted to my publisher.

What quirky things do you have to do to write?
While I consider myself to be VERY quirky, I don't have any strange habits with my writing. I do write better at night, when I'm really tired. Besides that, I just write whenever I have time. If the juices aren't flowing, I pick up a book and read instead. That usually gets my mind where it needs to be.

What inspires you as a writer?
As mentioned above, reading always turns my brain into fantasy land where I have my pick of any story. Besides that, everything! From the news to listening to random stories, everything sparks some random story in my head. The tricky part for me is to act normal, like there's not three different stories with characters I love playing in my brain at once.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
Immerse yourself in the writing industry. Join writing groups and critique groups, go to writing conferences. That will teach you so much to help you mature as an author. Not to mention it will help you to network and find connections that will help you to get published.

Something about you that would surprise or shock your readers? 
Some of the darker scenes in my books can disturb me. I'll have to take a break from writing them, or just flat out cry as I write them out. I think it's because I know the full details of what's happening even though I don't spell it out in graphic detail for my readers.

Which character is most like you?
I try not to put myself into a character too much, but if I had to choose... probably Rinwa. I like to think I'm a tough girl. ;)
Publication Date: Feb. 23rd
Mark your calendars vampire fans!
Her website is http://adriennemonson.com

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Time for a Quicky...

What am I reading now?  Throne of Glass (Sarah J. Maas)

Annnd . . . what do I think so far? Right from the start of the book, you know Celeana is an assassin. She was trained by the King of Assassins since she was 8 years old and now at 17 she's the best assassin in the kingdom. After being betrayed she was imprisoned as a slave in a mine for her crimes but the Crown Prince gives her a chance for freedom if she will compete as the Crown Prince's candidate for the King's new Champion.

I'll say it again--she's an assassin--but I found myself rooting for her to win over the men trained to be soldiers. There was an interesting character comparison going on in the story between looking at the idea of who is killing--the assassin, the soldier,  the guard, the beast.  What makes one person a hero and another a criminal?
          This is book one of an upcoming series. There are a few hints about Celeana's past or her family's past, but they are undeveloped. Hopefully, that part takes on more importance in the next book.


Time for a Quicky…
Mix one box of Angel Food cake mix with another (non-Angel food cake mix) in a gallon size baggie. 

To make a mug-of-cake, place 3 tablespoons of mix in the mug, add 2 tablespoons of water and stir. 

Microwave for 1 minute. Top with ice cream syrup, whipped topping, crushed candy bar, chocolate chips…you get it, something yummy! 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Vampire Academy movie cast

What am I reading now?  The Runaway King (Jennifer A Nielsen)

Annnd . . . what do I think so far? This is the second book in The Ascendance Trilogy--but it doesn't read like a middle at all! The first book in the series was action packed, full of deceit, revenge, honor, betrayal and this one is every bit as thrilling. There are new threats and a few old ones that resurface to challenge the new king.

This series is a sleeper--I think it deserves much more attention than it is getting. This book will appeal to many readers in a classroom. Teachers, put this one on your shelf.

One of my all time fav books/series is coming to the big screen...here's a hint...

Do you recognize them?

They are obviously Rose, Lissa and Dimitri of
Vampire Academy

You see the resemblance now.
The movie will be called Blood Sisters--looking forward to it next year!