I’m reading Kalona’s Fall: A House of Night novella by Kristin and P.C. Cast, Uglies by Scott Westerfield, So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer, Through The Nethergate by Robbie Cheadle, Chosen by Kiersten White, Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas, Subject A36 by Teri Polen, The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco, The Vine Witch by Luanne G. Smith, The Book of Dust by Philip Pullman, How to Write a Children’s Book by the Children’s Institute of Literature, Sightwitch by Susan Dennard, How to Write Kidlit by Mary Kole, and How to Write & Sell YA by K.L. Going.
How are you doing amid the crisis? Do you have all the supplies you need? Cleaning supplies: one, two, three, four, and five.
Thinking of starting your own website? Try Bluehost, link to left, WordPress, link to left, or Rubix, link to left. I use Bluehost and WordPress, they’re both easy and reliable. Then there’s Jetpack, link to the left, security for your website. Definitely use this!
Stay safe and peaceful! There’s a lot of craziness out there, don’t let it get to you, or worse, become you. Take a deep breath. Remember, we’re all in this together. Take care and God bless.
Book Talk: P.C. Cast’s & Kristin Cast’s House of Night series: Neferet’s Curse
Neferet’s Curse by P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast. St. Martin’s Griffin Feb. 19.2013.
Amazon’s blurb: The White City, 1893: In turn-of-the-century Chicago, with the World’s Fair bringing bustle and excitement to her home city, sixteen-year-old Emily Wheiler should be reveling in her youthful beauty and the excitement around her. But her whole life changed when her mother died, leaving her to be the Lady of Wheiler House. Her father, a powerful bank president, is at the center of an important social hub for the booming young city, and he needs Emily to do everything her mother would have – to be a good hostess and make sure the mansion runs smoothly.
As Emily uneasily tries to replace her mother, she also longs for more… for love and a life of her own. When a handsome young man notices her at one of her father’s parties, it seems that her hopes may finally be coming true. Until her father forbids her to see him – or any other man – and starts revealing a darkly violent side that even he can’t understand.
At last, afraid for her life and with nowhere to turn, Emily is Marked by a vampyre and brought to the Chicago House of Night, where she begins a magickal new life that should allow the wounds from her past to heal. But as she gains strength, and a powerful new name, she carries a dark need to wreak vengeance on the man she trusted most.
From victim to High Priestess, beautiful young woman to powerful seductress, Neferet’s journey begins in NEFERET’S CURSE…from authors P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast.
My review: This is the story of Elizabeth Wheiler and what a horror story it is. After her mother’s death, her father’s abusive, intense, predatory behavior towards her turns tragic separating her from the boy she would love and have rescue her. Her survival and how she is called to the House of Night unfolds in this volume.
So sad and tragic. I know no other words to describe the nightmare she lives within. In this day and age, unfortunately, these types of stories need told. If only to warn young women about the dangers in life and how to speak up about them, even when it seems too late. They must find support from us so that they, too, do not become a broken and defeated person.
Book Talk…12/28/18 The Witch of the Hills Author Unknown
The Witch of the Hills by J.M. Fraser. March 18, 2018. My copy on Netgalley said the author was unknown but on Amazon, it says J. M. Fraser.
Amazon blurb: Ancient prophecy compels a young Salem witch to travel forward through the time-bending dimension we all visit when we sleep. Rebecca Church must recruit a modern-day boy to save this interactive fantasy world from imminent disaster, but her task won’t be easy. She may use no more than poetry, illusions, and dreams to convince the chosen one of his destiny, and she can visit him only nine brief times.
When Brian Danahey meets Rebecca at the side of a desolate road, he recognizes her from a recurring nightmare about a girl in great danger. Brian falls in love with her, she disappears, and he comes to believe she’s the legendary Witch of the Hills, a colonial maiden exiled to haunt the western prairies for centuries. The quest to free Rebecca takes him through mirrors and time from the sand hills of contemporary Nebraska to the seventeenth-century witch haven she once called home.
But Rebecca doesn’t need saving, and certainly not three-hundred-plus-years ago. The magical dimension that nourishes our souls is on the brink of apocalypse. Today.
My review: Brian finds himself following weird warnings to a cabin in the hills and a witch named Rebecca who he falls for. The trouble is, the next day she’s gone and he reluctantly leaves for college. Once there, he meets a girl with a roommate that says she knows him. Brian is instantly alert to the roommate being trouble when he recognizes her as one of the warnings on the road where he met Rebecca. Later, he tries to leave for the hills of Nebraska again only to find all four tires slashed on his truck. A few nights later, he dreams of Rebecca again and then finds a poem she wrote on his computer. His spirits are lifted only to learn that Rebecca is a witch. He doesn’t believe it until he sees a flyer to meet Rebecca in a place out of nowhere. She tells him that she can only communicate with him through her book and the poems in it. She has to follow a code. As he searches to figure out what she’s trying to tell him, he learns he is the chosen one and must help her end the void.
This was a little hard to figure out from the beginning. I didn’t understand why she needed a code to court Brian. As the story progresses though it becomes a fair read. If you like puzzles and figuring out why things are done a certain way, this is for you.
The electricity’s been off and on in these parts the past few days. Luckily, for us, it hasn’t been more than three hours here and there. For others, they won’t get theirs back until tomorrow, I hear. I feel bad for them. It’s cold out now. In the forties or sometimes thirties at night. Plus, losing your items in your refrigerator sucks. It seems this problem happens a lot around here. The storms weren’t even really bad. Just rain and black clouds. Some leaves whipping around. Tree branches down in places.
This past week’s been a blur. It seems time goes like that anymore. Slow one moment, gone the next. It’s been a couple weeks since I quit my Humira shot and I’m starting to hurt really bad again already. I hope the dr. will work with me and find something else. Because he said if the shot didn’t work, he couldn’t help me and I’m afraid he won’t go back and try a medicine that we were unsure about. Actually, there’s another that might work as well.
I’m still editing. I’m finding other things to look for as I go along. You never stop learning. If you do, you’re done. You have to continue to learn to get along in this business, I hear. I can see that’s true because just when I think I know a lot, something new comes to my attention.
I been working on yet another shiny new idea that’ll be a future novel. Not sure if it’ll be YA or just plain horror. We’ll see. Meanwhile, I have two books in the waiting stage as I work on this beta. The two books are first drafts, so I’ll be going through this with them when I finish this beta. One’s a YA, the others a sweet, historical romance. Of the two, the romance probably needs the most work. I have to learn to get the feels on the page or it’s not going to sell. For some reason, YA romance is easier for me. Of course, most of the time there’s no physical scenes in them but romances are different when it comes to that.
How are your projects? Have a great week, take care, and God bless!
I’m reading Stephen King’s The Outsider and Nora Robert’s final book of the Cousin of O’Dwyer’s trilogy, Blood Magick. Both are due soon at the library, so I have to hurry and finish them. It’s definitely hard with King’s book as there’s so much word count but worth the read! There’s Too Blessed to beStressed for Moms by Debra M. Coty from Netgalley. And on Kindle, there’s Harmony Kent’s Jewel inthe Mud, Melanie Cellier’s Princess Fugitive, Tomi Adeyemi’s Children of Bloodand Bone, In the Company of Women by Grace Bonney, Writing Love Scenes by Rayne Hall and Susan McCarthy, Closing the Deal and a Freelance Survivor’sGuide by Kristine Kathryn Rusch, 13 Steps to Evil by Sacha Black, Harry Potterand the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling, and The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood.
Book Talk…9/7/18 Nora Robert’s Shadow Spell
Shadow Spell Book 2 of the Cousins O’Dwyer trilogy by Nora Roberts. A Jove Book 2014.
Amazon blurb: With the legends and lore of Ireland running through his blood, falconer Connor O’Dwyer is proud to call County Mayo home. It’s where his sister, Branna, lives and works, where his cousin, Iona, has found true love, and where his childhood friends form a circle that can’t be broken…
A circle that is about to be stretched out of shape—by a long-awaited kiss.
Meara Quinn is Branna’s best friend, a sister in all but blood. Her and Connor’s paths cross almost daily, as Connor takes tourists on hawk walks and Meara guides them on horseback across the lush countryside. She has the eyes of a gypsy and the body of a goddess…things Connor has always taken for granted—until his brush with death propels them into a quick, hot tangle.
Plenty of women have found their way to Connor’s bed, but none to his heart until now. Frustratingly, Meara is okay with just the heat, afraid to lose herself—and their friendship—to something more. But soon, Connor will see the full force and fury of what runs in his blood. And he will need his family and friends around him when his past rolls in like the fog, threatening an end to all he loves…
My review: Connor finds himself transported in his dreams to his ancestor Eeamon’s side in time of trouble with Cabhan. As he, Branna, and Iona try to figure out a way to stop the dark sorcerer, Connor finds that the woman he always thought of as friend has become more with one electric kiss. As the two struggle to figure out who they are to each other, what they are, Cabhan strikes at the circle through Meara.
I LOVE these characters! This storyline is so fascinating and I enjoyed every minute of the read! It’s a sweeping book, taking place in Ireland, and having to do with an evil sorcerer who couldn’t have the original dark witch, so he’s attacking at her descendants. Connor and Meara are fabulous together and there romance is every bit as good as Boyle’s and Iona’s was, One more to go, and I think these two are going to explode: Branna and Fin. Can’t wait!
This week I’m reading for study purposes: Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone, J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Susan Collin’s The Hunger Games, Paul Andruss’s Thomas Rhymer, and Jaime Questrall’s By a Charm and a Curse. In other reads: Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow and the Bone(this one is also being studied), Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s The Freelancer’s Survival Guide and on Your Terms, Harmony Kent’s Jewel in the Mud, C.S. Boyack’s The Yak Guy Project, Melanie Cellier’s Princess Fugitive, Tomi Adeyemi’s Children of Blood and Bone, Rayne Hall’s and Susan McCarthy’s Writing Love Scenes, and Grace Bonney’s In the Company of Women.
Book Talk: Nora Robert’s Dark Witch
Dark Witch by Nora Roberts. Book One of the O’Dwyer trilogy. Jove. Berkeley. 2013.
Amazon blurb: From #1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts comes a trilogy about the land we’re drawn to, the family we learn to cherish, and the people we long to love…
Book One of The Cousins O’Dwyer Trilogy
With indifferent parents, Iona Sheehan grew up craving devotion and acceptance. From her maternal grandmother, she learned where to find both: a land of lush forests, dazzling lakes, and centuries-old legends.
County Mayo, to be exact. Where her ancestors’ blood and magic have flowed through generations—and where her destiny awaits.
Iona arrives in Ireland with nothing but her Nan’s directions, an unfailingly optimistic attitude, and an innate talent with horses. Not far from the luxurious castle where she is spending a week, she finds her cousins, Branna and Connor O’Dwyer. And since family is family, they invite her into their home and their lives.
When Iona lands a job at the local stables, she meets the owner, Boyle McGrath. Cowboy, pirate, wild tribal horsemen, he’s three of her biggest fantasy weaknesses all in one big, bold package.
Iona realizes that here she can make a home for herself—and live her life as she wants, even if that means falling head over heels for Boyle. But nothing is as it seems. An ancient evil has wound its way around Iona’s family tree and must be defeated. Family and friends will fight with each other and for each other to keep the promise of hope—and love—alive…
Don’t miss the other books in the Cousins O’Dwyer Trilogy
My review: This book is everything I love about a Nora Roberts supernatural book. The romance is there but it’s not the mainstay, instead, the story is. For Iona, who’s only known cold parents, she’s felt something missing all her life. Her grandmother tries to tell her about the O’Dwyer past, but her parents have threatened to bar her from Iona through the years. Grown, Iona seeks to find who she is in the lands that her family came from: Ireland. It is here that the original dark witch threw down her power to defeat a sorcerer, leaving the three of her children and their descendants to protect against him in a future date. That date is here as the three gather again along with friends and loved ones.
Told from six narrative strands, this cleverly woven and utterly compulsive novel challenges preconceptions; makes you second, third and fourth guess yourself; and holds an uncomfortable mirror up to the way societies and systems treat those they perceive to be on the outside.”
https://mariacatalinaegan.com/2018/06/16/the-unholy-by-author-paul-deblassie-iii/ ”The Unholy, an excellent novel by Paul DeBlassie III, keeps the reader engaged throughout in mystery, suspense, and church politics. In addition to vividly depicting the beautiful landscape and culture of New Mexico, it exposes and strengthens the traditional work of the medicine women of the Southwest. I am looking forward to Dr. DeBlassie’s next book.” –Eliseo ”Cheo” Torres, author ofCurandero: A Life In Mexican Folk Healing, professor, and university administrator.
https://tinafrisco.com/2018/06/15/author-interview-billy-ray-chitwood/ “The storyline? Meet a mother from hell! I ran across the California newspaper clippings from years ago about a Northern California mother who tortured her six kids – the three girls most specifically – with beatings, dark-closet punishments that could last for days, eating lard and their own retch, standing erect or on their knees for hours at a time. She kills two of the girls by fire, leaving one girl to fear for her life…an amazing story, fictionalized with lots of true elements!”
https://mythcreants.com/blog/lessons-from-the-rambling-writing-of-handbook-for-mortals/ “Last year, Handbook for Mortals by Lani Sarem cheated its way to the top of the New York Times YA bestseller list. It wasn’t #1 for long, though. Observers quickly noticed how strange it was that a book no one had heard of by a brand new publisher had soared to the top. The book wasn’t in stock at most retailers, and the website Fakespot rated the book’s Amazon reviews as suspicious. Also, everyone thought Handbook for Mortals was really bad for a bestseller. After investigating, The New York Times removed the book from their list. You can get all the juicy details on Pajiba.”
http://storitorigrace.blogspot.com/2018/06/5-ways-classic-pc-adventure-games.html “It’s no secret that I freaking love PC Adventure Games. I’ve been playing them since I was seven-years-old. My mom had a lot of them on floppy disc. Yes, floppy disc. If you don’t know what those are, look them up (It’s also what your save icon is in Microsoft Word). XD Then later on with CD-ROM (Now we have snazzy disc-less download stuff. I’m so grateful for that.). So I have many fond memories get on our dinosaur of a computer in the office after finishing my schoolwork for the day and spending time with some of my pixel best friends. I wouldn’t be the same writer I am today without the many skills I learned by playing these games.”
https://stevelaube.com/author-says-agent-hears/ “Many aspiring authors communicate things they think are positive, or at least in the spirit of honesty and transparency, but end up being understood entirely different than the intended message.”
https://stevelaube.com/the_wild_pitch/ “It is the third month of the Major League baseball season, so I thought it would be fun to explore the concept of having a quality pitch. As with baseball, the author needs to pitch their ideas in an effective manner. But it doesn’t always work out that way.”
https://mythcreants.com/blog/why-historical-accuracy-isnt-a-reason-to-exclude-diversity/ “As someone who critiques media for a living, I run into this argument all the time. I see it from the darkest depths of YouTube to the comments section of this very blog. Some people use the argument as a smoke screen to hide the fact that they simply don’t want diverse stories, whereas others genuinely think that history requires stories to be full of bigotry. Either way, the argument is wrong, and here’s why.” I have to agree. All types of people should be in our stories. There’s room for everyone!
http://mybipolarmind.com/2018/06/16/my-2018-vacation-is-in-12-hours/ “I am looking forward to taking lots of pictures and walking on the beach. I would bring my laptop on the sand and stare at the ocean view and write or blog because that is actually on my bucketlist — to write by the ocean — but I am too worried that I would get sand on it or that it will get wet, broken, or stolen. I need my laptop because, well, I am a writer. Or at least, I try to be.” I am going on vacation, too, just not away for one. Well, at least I don’t think so. Instead, I’m taking a writing vacation.
http://www.adventuresinyapublishing.com/2018/06/amy-mcnamara-author-of-flicker-in.html “Many years ago my daughter struggled with a needy, domineering and self-destructive friend. It made me think of my own attraction to a glamorous mess when I was her age. It took me far longer than it took my daughter to realise there is a vast difference between caretaking and genuine friendship and that real friendship is an ongoing balance between give and take.”
https://www.thebookdesigner.com/2018/06/book-promotion-do-this-not-that-june-2018/ “More and more authors are seeing that the ADD TO CART button does not place an order with the author/publisher like it used to. This is not a new phenomenon, but for the last year, Amazon has been awarding the button to the lowest-priced seller and that is often not the author. This has, in some cases, resulted in a dramatic drop in their CreateSpace sales.”
https://selfpublishingadvice.org/indie-authors-ebook-pricing-seeley-james/ “One of the many advantages of being an indie author is that with access to your own dashboard on the book distribution sites (KDP, Kobo, iBooks, etc), you can set your own pricesfor your books, in whatever format you’re self-publishing them, and change them until you hit a sweet spot for profitability.”
https://jamigold.com/2018/06/are-sneaky-plot-holes-lurking-in-your-story/ “Despite the term plot hole, illogical and/or inconsistent events and details in our story can exist in more places than just our story’s plot. And no matter the source, those breaks in logic affect our readers the same way, so we need to watch out for them the same way we keep an eye open for logic holes within our story’s plot.”
https://www.janefriedman.com/the-power-of-silence-in-a-pitch-situation/ “When writers ask me for advice about pitching their work in-person, my favorite tip is: Get the other person talking and asking questions. Rather than dominating the conversation with everything youwant to say, figure out what’s going on inside the head of your target. That’s where the valuable information is. The nature of their response will help you learn the publishing business and how to position your work.”
https://writershelpingwriters.net/2018/06/occupation-thesaurus-entry-business-tycoon/ “Overview: A business tycoon is someone who is extremely successful in their industry. Tycoons tend to be entrepreneurial, coming up with innovative ideas or solutions that help them rise to the top in their fields. Some (Henry Ford, J.P. Morgan, Mark Zuckerberg, Warren Buffet, etc.) are so famous as to become household names to the general public, while others are simply well-known by those in their fields. A person can become a mogul in any industry—automobiles, banking, social media, finance, media, real estate, etc. Because of their success, these leaders tend to be very wealthy.”
http://www.thepassivevoice.com/morality-clauses-are-publishers-right-to-police-writers/ “As the pressure has mounted, London-based authors’ agent Lizzy Kremer has taken pre-emptive action – drawing up a new, industry-wide code of conduct on behalf of a coalition of authors, booksellers, agents and publishers. The voluntary code was partly inspired by London’s Royal Court theatre, which constructed one in reaction to its own sexual misconduct scandal involving a former artistic director. Among the theatre’s first responses was a call out for testimony about sexual harassment to help it to identify “patterns and scenarios”. In a detail that chimes strongly with the publishing industry, the report drew attention to the dangers of a “blurred social context”: “13.3% of reported incidents happened at work parties … with alcohol.”
http://booksbywomen.org/waiting-for-inspiration-by-penny-kline/ “Sitting agonising never works, at least it doesn’t for me. Obviously, if and when I have a wonderful moment of “inspiration” and the two themes combine into a story, there are still many gaps to be filled and, most importantly of all, characters to create, but where the story came from I couldn’t say. Somewhere in my unconscious, I suppose.” I often have to do something else as well.