The Little Writer Who Could
One of my favorite stories as a little kid was The Little Engine That Could. I wasn’t very big for my age, nor fast, agile or tough. But I was persistent. If something interested me, I’d drive my parents crazy until we went to the library so I could read up on the subject. I was probably the foremost 6-year-old expert on Jacques Cousteau. Yeah, I was weird like that. Still am, to some extent, but most writers love research, so I know I’m not alone.
What drew me to the Little Engine was the fact that he wasn’t the biggest or the fastest but, even when he got teased, he stayed on course despite the perceived adversity. In the end, what did he do? He pulled those carts up the mountain when no one else could.
Writing, as a journey, is a lot like the Little Engine’s trip up the mountain. It’s hard work. Brain strain, writer’s cramp, writer’s block, piles of unwashed laundry, deleted words, blunt critique--all of it comes with the territory. Add in everyday concerns like paying the bills, taking care of your home and being there for your family, and it’s tough to keep going sometimes. That mountain looks like Everest from the bottom and seems to grow even as you climb. Two steps forward, one step back.
That’s where the Little Engine’s mentality has to kick in, except I’d take it a step further. Not “I think I can,” but “I know I can, and I will!” Expect failure, and that’s what you’ll get. So why not expect to succeed? Tell yourself, “It’s hard, it’s killing my mind, it hurts my heart, but when I’m finished, by God, it’ll be AWESOME!”
Take it in small pieces. Think of that mountain as a series of short hills. Climb a bit, then rest. Set your climbing pins. Tie in. Then get ready to climb the next part. In the end, you’ll look back at your finished “mountain” and I say, “I did that!”
And it’s AWESOME!
When Matt Archer was fourteen, he discovered monsters are real. As if that wasn't enough to go on for a few decades, Matt also found out that he'd been chosen to hunt those monsters--with a sentient, supernatural knife. Now fifteen, Matt has spent the last year working with a clandestine military unit, trying to rid the world of monsters, demons and other vicious creatures, all while keeping it a secret from nearly everyone he knows back home in Billings.
Including his mom.
Add in a new girlfriend, family secrets, sibling drama and enough homework to sink an aircraft carrier, and Matt's life has become more complicated than he ever imagined. Worse, the knife has developed some very definite opinions about Matt's personal life and it interferes in his business whenever it wants. More and more, Matt's coming to realize that sharing brain-space with a spirit kind of sucks.
When stories of decimated towns and hordes of zombies start pouring into the Pentagon from Afghanistan, Matt knows he'll be called up soon. Between the new mission and the knife's increasing control over his mind, Matt wonders if he'll survive long enough to take his driver's exam.
Man, was this a fantastic book! The action kept up, and the various plot lines kept things interesting, and there were funny parts, and there were parts that ripped out my heart. Especially the break up! The end when they were talking about whether Matt was up to the job, well, Matt showed them!
So I just had to read this book! I loved the first book and novella, they were so good. So yeah, getting the chance to read this book-and for review, on top of that-was really fantastic! Just made reading this book all the more better!
Things are more complicated. There have been losses, and the darkness is becoming stronger, and Matt, while young, seems to be the best at fighting the bad stuff. And that leads to some hard decisions, but there's more to the series, so more bad stuff, but hopefully more good stuff!
I can't wait for the next book, because man, things have to get a bit better, because while getting rid of the monsters, they weren't doing anything to track why the monsters were there, like Matt wanted, and then tie that with what happened in this book, with his mom and brother finding out what he does...yeah. So good!
I really, really, really enjoyed reading this book, it was so freaking good, and I can't wait for the next one, so I suggest you guys check it out, and the first book and the novella!
Author: Kendra C. Highley
Series: Matt Archer #2
Read: January 17th, 2012
Source: Reading Addiction Blog Tour Review Copy
Published: December 27th 2012
Special Tour Discount:
Matt Archer: Monster Hunter – Free! Use coupon code XF23B via Smashwords
Matt Archer: Blade’s Edge—25% off! Use coupon code UD38J via Smashwords
Coupons are good from the start of the tour through February 10, 2013.
Kendra C. Highley lives in north Texas with her husband and two children. She also serves as staff to two self-important and high-powered cats. This, according to the cats, is her most important job.
Kendra believes chocolate is a basic human right, running a 10k is harder than it sounds, and that everyone should learn to drive a stick-shift. She loves monsters, vacations, baking and listening to bad electronica.
More information about the Matt Archer universe, works in progress and the nature of the Higgs Boson* can be found at www.kendrachighley.com
(*Yeah…not really. We’ll let the scientists handle that part.)
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Stops on the Tour:
January 28 - Reading Addiction Blog Tours - Meet and Greet
January 29 - Known to Read - Review/Guest Post
January 30 - Words I Write Crazy - Review/Guest Post
January 31 - Kinx book Nook - Review/Guest Post
February 1 - Solitary Bookworm - Review
February 2 - Twinsie Talk Book Reviews - Review/Interview
February 3 - Andi's YA Book Reviews - Review
February 4 - The Adventures Within - Review/Guest Post
February 5 - My Reading Addiction - Review
February 6 - My Cozie Corner - Review
February 7 - Laurie's Thoughts and Reviews - Review/Interview
February 8 - RABT Reviews - Review