Monday, October 31, 2011

Book Review...The Iron Fey series

The Iron Fey series
Author: Julie Kagawa
Published by Harlequin Teen
Modern day fantasy, faerie, YA

Book 1- The Iron King
novella- Summer's Crossing
Book 2- The Iron Daughter
novella- Winter's Passage
Book 3- The Iron Queen
Book 4- The Iron Knight

 Recently I reviewed the The Iron King. (for that review click here) I have since read up to book 3 and decided to review the series as a whole. The series is about Megan Chase, who is half human half faerie princess, and her adventures in the Nevernever with Prince Ash and Robin Goodfellow. Megan is the daughter of the Summer King of the Seelie court.

I'm going to make this nice and simple.....Read it, read now, if you don't you're missing out and life will cease to exist. Seriously, I loved it that much.

Julie Kagawa does a great job at world building. Her characters are very believable and easy to fall in love with, especially Prince Ash. I could go on for hours about him and he's in my top five most memorable literary crush's.

I have to admit, I wasn't exactly in love with how book 3 ended but as luck would have it we get a book four. To top it off it is from Ash's point of view. I also have to admit I'm scared to read it.

As much as I want to read it I'm holding out because I don't want it to end. It has been so long since I found a series I care for this much and I love the thought of it not being over.

So if you like faeries, romance, cute boys and a kick ass heroine, I recommend this read.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Learning Along the Way...Emotion in Dialogue

While revising my manuscript I noticed something...I write a ton of dialogue. I mean probably over half my story is dialogue. I haven't made up my mind yet if this is good or bad but I think I need to add a bit more narrative to avoid over telling.

I also realized I have a lot of angry characters. Why shouldn't they be? I've killed off half the members of their family. So while I have all these half crazed, angry, teen age warrior's running around they tend to get a bit nasty with each other some times. My job is to show their anger and express some of it through dialogue.

First thing, every one expresses anger different but there are some common elements. When people get in a verbal fight the goal is usually to say something to make the other person mad. The better you know a person/character the easier this is to do. You can attack their flaw's, looks, cast blame, defend yourself or destroy a dream. An angry person will often say things they don't even mean. The words are usually spilled out before a person has thought about what they are actually saying. Your characters should be doing this to.

When my characters are fighting I like to use shorter sentences and paragraphs. I don't like to bog it down with descriptions or narrative, the stage should already be set. I also write in physical movement the help keep the pace up.

If you have hints how your character's express anger I would love to hear them. As usual I get all my dialogue tips form Gloria Kempton's book "Dialogue".

Saturday, October 15, 2011

NaNoWriMo...Do you dare?

That's right. I am a 2010 NaNoWriMo Winner and I have the totally awesome badge (and key chain) to prove it.

Am I going to do it again? No. But that is because I am revising a work in progress and am making a push to finish and get it in the hands of an editor by the first of January. I don't want to lose the momentum.

But I am very sad about it. NaNoWriMo was a huge, like mega huge, accomplishment for me. By this time last year I had never taken on a task as big as writing 50,000 words in one month and I had no idea the discipline it would take. I was frustrated, stressed, mentally exhausted and  a social pariah.  It was awesome.

If you've never  participated you should, at least once. Being a writer requires hours upon hours of solitude. But for the month of November I was part of a group, a member of the community, one of the cool kids. The community may be filled with maniac writers staggering around in a WriMo daze but it was my group of maniacs and we were in it together.

The best piece of advice I can give a future WriMo not under estimate how many hours you will need to set aside to accomplish this task. It goes by quicker than you think.

If you want to read an in depth article about my experience see my interview about it  at The Capable Garnet. It was done a week after NaNoWriMo so all the feelings were fresh.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Book review....White Cat

By Holly Black

White Cat (book one of the Curse Workers trilogy)
I give it 4 out of 5 stars

from Good Reads

Cassel comes from a family of curse workers — people who have the power to change your emotions, your memories, your luck, by the slightest touch of their hands. And since curse work is illegal, they're all mobsters, or con artists. Except for Cassel. He hasn't got the magic touch, so he's an outsider, the straight kid in a crooked family. You just have to ignore one small detail — he killed his best friend, Lila, three years ago.
Ever since, Cassel has carefully built up a façade of normalcy, blending into the crowd. But his façade starts crumbling when he starts sleepwalking, propelled into the night by terrifying dreams about a white cat that wants to tell him something. He's noticing other disturbing things, too, including the strange behavior of his two brothers. They are keeping secrets from him, caught up in a mysterious plot. As Cassel begins to suspect he's part of a huge con game, he also wonders what really happened to Lila. Could she still be alive? To find that out, Cassel will have to out-con the conmen.
Holly Black has created a gripping tale of mobsters and dark magic where a single touch can bring love — or death — and your dreams might be more real than your memories.

This is book one of a trilogy, followed by "Red Glove". I will admit, I put off reading this book for a long time. The cover didn't really appeal to me (I know, don't judge a book by it's cover..I do, can't help it) and I wasn't really interested in reading about mobsters and con artists. But it kept popping up in my little world and I decided it was time to read it.

In this world, curse workers are a regular part of life. Everybody knows about them and they have just always been there. They are not considered "paranormal"  but there is a certain amount of...lets just say certain groups of people are prejudice toward them. The character's in this book do not suffer a direct back lash from that but it is mentioned enough, it feels like the author is laying a foundation for  future books.

Cassel is a great character. He is the only non-worker in an all worker family so of course he feels like an out cast. With his infamous family ties he is an out cast at his private school. Before you feel to sorry for him he compensates by being a skilled con man and bookie for his fellow classmates.   All the characters in this story have a unique voice and play some very interesting parts.

It took  a while to finally get  into this book. There is a lot of world building in the beginning and I was not getting into it. I even put it down to read something else. With all the positive things I heard about this book I knew I had to dive back in. If this was a stand alone novel I would have liked it to have more action right off. But if you take into consideration she is creating a world and writing a trilogy it is probably paced pretty well. By the time I hit 33% (I know it was 33% because I read it on my kindle) I was sucked in.

You should defiantly add this to your "to be read" pile.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Steve Jobs

For a person I had never met, or ever would have had an opportunity in the future to meet, I cannot believe I am so sad. We all know what he did for the world, for he truly made an impact. I shared on my blog in January 2011 how his innovative thinking and dedication to bring his ideas to us, is one of the many things that gave me the courage and inspiration to become a writer. "Make Your Own Place"

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Book review....Sundered

Sundered: A Paranormal Romance (Nevermore Zombie Apocalypse Trilogy)

by Shannon Mayer
available on Kindle

description from Amazon

A miracle drug, Nevermore, spreads like wildfire throughout the world allowing people to eat what they want, no matter how unhealthy it is and yet still lose weight. It is everything the human population has ever dreamed of and Mara is no different. Only a simple twist of fate stops her from taking the drug.

As the weeks roll by, it becomes apparent that Nevermore is not the miracle it claimed. A true to life nightmare, the drug steals the very essence that makes up humanity and unleashes a new and deadly species on the world, a species bent on filling its belly. Locked down within their small farm home, Mara and her husband Sebastian struggle against increasingly bad odds, fighting off marauders and monsters alike.

But Sebastian carries a dark secret, one that more than threatens to tear them apart, it threatens to destroy them both and the love they have for each other. 

The secret forces Mara to make the ultimate choice. Will she live for love, or will she live to survive?

Sundered is a very entertaining story and written very well. I have never been into zombie's but I read some of the authors blog posts, liked her writing and decided to give it a shot. This story has a short list of characters but each were unique and easy to care about. I have to admit, a couple things were easy to guess what was going to happen (isn't that common in most stories though?) but the timing and way the conclusions came about still made me feel for these characters. Mostly because by then I cared about the characters and felt a certain amount of sympathy for them.  

Sundered is part one of a trilogy and I will definitely be reading more of Shannon Mayer's work in the future.

In the vast sea of the world wide web it amazes me how a person comes across certain things. I was on Twitter (no surprise there) and Shannon Mayer popped up a suggested person to follow. About half of the time I ignore those suggestions but I clicked on her picture, saw she was a writer and decided to follow the link to her blog. I was very glad I did.

You can also see my review on Amazon.
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