Saturday, April 30, 2011

New Plot from Title!

So I was browsing the nano forums and I was in the adoptable titles, and I found one. Status: Dead. And in that, sparked a series for me, titles of Status: Dead, Status: Lifeless, Status: Living, But Not For Long, Status: Dying, Status: Born, Status: Living a Full Life.  And I came up with this little summary. Hope you guys like it.

What’s your status? You know, the little barcode on your arm that tells people what you are, who you are, and most importantly, how long you’re going to live. Ever try to extend the time you have? Don’t. You’ll just bring around the Changers, and they’ll bring about a permanent early retirement.

Author Interview: The Blackwood Conspiracy by Rolf

Today I would like to welcome Rolf Taylor over for an interview.

The Blackwood Conspiracy: An ex-soldier, Tepes, and two civilians, Señor Pepe and Jojo  are thrown into a dangerous world after Tepes decides that Arthur Blackwood, one of the wealthiest, and most powerful, men in the world is not who he seems to be. As their investigations into Blackwood deepens, they are discovered by a quasi-military group hellbent on destroying Blackwood any way they can, regardless of the consequences. From Panama to Paris to London to Israel to the Kola Bay, they fight Blackwood and try to stop him from executing a mysterious plan that would change the world...

Why/how did you start writing?
I’ve always enjoyed writing, but I only really started writing everyday on an actual large project after my friend expressed interest and we decided to start working on something.

What’s the most common mistake do you think that beginning authors make?
Well, just thinking back to when I had just begun, they need to sit down and think about what they’re writing. When I first started I had no specific destination and just threw in anything “cool.” Now that I’m really putting a lot of effort into a plot, I regret that.

What worries would you tell your past self to get over in the beginning?
 I remember that I was worried about how much action there was. I mean, there was a LOT. But then I discovered the Australian author Matthew Reilly, who easily outclasses me in the amount of action content, so I felt better. And now my writing has moved away from action, though it’s still there and I still pay quite a bit of attention to that.

What would you tell your past self to worry about?
As I said above, plot. I would tell him to sit down and come up with a really great plot before writing a whole bunch of explosions.

Are you a plotter, or a pantser-do you do outlines, or do you write what comes to mind?
I started out as a pantser, but now I’m definitely a plotter, as I’ve put most writing on a hiatus to figure out this really epic (well, hopefully) plot.

If you’re a plotter, what tricks do you use to plot out your novel?
Well, I generally figure out what I want the overall plot to be, and then put all the little details I’d like to have into a list and check them off. I find that making a timeline, since my plot stretches over a really long period of time, is helpful and writing periodic summaries of everything I have is also good.

If you’re a pantser, how do you wrap up all the loose ends?
When I was a pantser, it required me adding some really random twists, and not the good kid, to make sure everything added up.

What inspired your first book?
My friend and were actually working together on some homework, and it kind of spiralled out of control from there, and before we knew it we were writing a book.

Do you listen to music while writing?
Of course! I generally like to listen to peppy, upbeat dance or dubstep, to really get my blood flowing. But I also have a selection of classical music that I enjoy.

What’s your writing space like?
Usually I write on this couch, and it’s pretty messy. One day though, if my dreams came true and I actually became a writer, I think it would be cool to have one of those offices with all sorts of memorabilia from movies and stuff.

Do you have any quirks when it comes to writing?
None that I can think of off the top of my head, though I’m sure I do.

How did you come up with the names Tepes, Mitsuko, Deadclaw, and Zacchaeus?
Well, I have four main characters, as far as the series I’m working on, so here goes. The first is Tepes, just Tepes, and his name was taken from Vlad Tepes, the original Dracula, who he’s supposed to be descended from. Tepes is ex-military and along with the rest of et MCs ends up getting caught in a conspiracy bigger than any of them. He wears all black and wields a massive sword. Miyamoto Mitsuko name is half taken from a book, half taken from Miyamoto Musashi, one of the most famous swordsmen in the world. She’s emotionless, beautiful, and extremely dangerous, and obsessed with avenging her family’s death. Both she and Tepes are antiheroes, definitely Type IVs. Deadclaw’s name was chosen purely as rule of cool, as was his real name, Kable Frost. (Yeah, I know.) He’s a sadistic mercenary who hates Tepes, but is eventually forced to work with him to combat the conspiracy, which he’s very deeply involved in. Finally, there’s Zacchaeus Okumu Owiti, who’s name is taken from the biblical character and from Luo names, as he’s African. He’s an antivillain, and the nicest of my four MCs. Despite this, he’s also up to his neck in the conspiracy, and knows more than he’s saying.

What are you currently working on?
The first book in the series, which wasn’t written first because… Well, who knows.

What wrimo sites are you on?
Just NaNoWriMo.

What future plans do you have for your book?
Well, I’d like to publish… But if I don’t I’m not going to stop writing. At this point in time I’m actually planning on entering the Amazon Breakthrough Novel contest, and see how that goes.

What authors may you have learned from, from sites and reading their books?
I’ve learned from so many authors, but for some reason Orson Scott Card has popped to the front of my head right now. Why, I can’t say, because there’s dozens of authors that have shaped me.

Which of your characters do you relate to the most?
Probably Señor Pepe, who’s becoming more and more minor as the series evolves. But I put a lot of effort into making him “realistic,” in contrast to say, Tepes or Mitsuko, so I drew a lot on myself.

Do you prefer books to movies in the film adaptation from books?
Probably books, though some really great movies have come from books, like Die Hard and Rambo, though they seem to be more “based on” than adaptations.

Do you get writer’s block? If so, what do you do to pass the time, or get rid of it?
Actually, I’ve never gotten a serious case of writer’s block, so I’m thankful for that. I do get stuck on minor things here and there, but nothing ever major and it’s never constant.

One book you wish you hadn’t written, if any?
I haven’t written that much yet, so no.

Authors you look forward to new books from the most?
Wow, that changes on whoever I’m reading at the moment, but right now it would be Lee Child, Matthew Reilly, or the final Inheritance Cycle Book. All guilty pleasures, but all enjoyable.

Do you have a writing schedule?
Not currently, but summer’s about to roll around, and then I might end up implementing one. Other than that I write whenever I have time, which isn’t as much as I’d like.

On the top of your head, how many plots and characters do you think you have or have created?
Oh lord, dozens and dozens of characters. Because of the nature of my plot, there’s quite a few that appear. And only really one plot, but because of its nature, there’s plenty of smaller ones that encompass either a book or a couple books, or sometimes even a few chapters.

Your favourite quote?
“We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us.” - Charles Bukowski

Thank you, Rolf! Rolf can be reached by email, here:

Week 17 Review: Secrets and Shadows

From Goodreads:
Nothing's simple when you run with werewolves. Jess Gillmansen thinks she's seen it all but her eyes are about to be opened to even more danger and a reality far more paranormal than she's suspected. With Jess' realization that the Rusakovas' mother is still alive and imprisoned, the group's choices become harder and trust more important. Lines are drawn and relationships change as the broken Rusakova family struggles to reunite to free their mother - and those who Jess thought to be normal people show themselves to be much, much more...

My Review:
I loved this book! I read it in 1 sitting, with the doggies on top of me, till about 3 in the morning. I just really needed to know what was going to happen to Jess and Pietr next! And I just loved everything that happened, every word! So great!

I loved how everything was continued from the first book, like Pietr's mother, the tension between Jess and Sarah over Pietr, just loved it! I hope that the Jess/Pietr/Sarah triangle gets solved soon, since I really don't want to wait for it anymore!

I especially loved the conflict there was between Jess and Pietr when he tried to protect her from his world by ignoring her, I just loved the pain that caused her, because then that made their relationship stronger when they just couldn't take it anymore!

I kinda read the ending a bit fast, because I missed some things, but I know that I really don't like her previous crush, or her new therapist! Evil, evil, evil!!!!! And her dad didn't help things, but then it was a little late for that.

This book left me steaming for the next one, which I can't wait for! Check this book out!

Author: Shannon Delany
Series: 13 to Life #2
Read: April 28th, 2011
Source: Library
Reason Why: Enjoying the series!
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Published: February 15th 2011
5/5 Hearts
4/5 Books
4/5 Stars

Week 17 Review: State of Decay

From Goodreads:
Just because you're dead doesn't mean you're useless...

A thrilling debut novel of a dystopian future populated by a new breed of zombie...

They call them revivors-technologically reanimated corpses-and away from the public eye they do humanity's dirtiest work. But FBI agent Nico Wachalowski has stumbled upon a conspiracy involving revivors being custom made to kill-and a startling truth about the existence of these undead slaves.

My Review:
I loved this book! I picked it up from the library because I won the second one, The Silent Army, from Goodreads, and I hadn't read this one yet, so I wanted to know what the story was like.

Man, was it good! I just loved it, the characters, the complexity, all the jumping around from character from character, and I really enjoyed it, thought before I got to know the characters, it was a bit confusing, but then it made sense.

This was a good book, and it made me very glad that I won The Silent Army! If you haven't read it, you better go out and get it!

Author: James Knapp
Series: Revivors #1
Read: April 27th, 2011
Source: Library
Reason Why: I won the 2nd book, so I had to read this book!
Publisher: Roc
Published: February 2nd 2010
5/5 Hearts
5/5 Books
5/5 Stars

Week 17 Review: Whisper Kiss

From Goodreads:
The national bestselling Dragonfire series continues to heat up...

For millennia, the shape-shifting dragon warriors known as the Pyr have commanded the four elements and guarded the earth's treasures. But now the final reckoning between the Pyr and the dreaded Slayers is about to begin...

Niall Talbot has volunteered to hunt down and destroy all the remaining shadow dragons before they can wreak more havoc. But fate has placed him in the hands of Rox, an unconventional tattoo artist who doesn't even flinch when a shape-shifting dragon warrior suddenly appears on her doorstep. And as a woman who follows her heart in matters of passion, she makes the perfect mate for a firestorm with Niall...

My Review:
I loved this book! I've been reading the series (read the first 4 or so in about 2 days)

Niall was a bit arrogant at first, and assuming, but Rox changed him, which was good, I liked him after they got together. Even though it was a little while before they did, because Rox had to make some choices, and she did, and it led to them being together.

But I loved this book, and this series, so if you haven't read it, or the new YA series based on these series kids yet, you better go out and read them!

Author: Deborah Cooke
Series: Dragonfire #5
Read: April 27th, 2011
Source: Library
Reason Why: I'm enjoying this series!
Publisher: Signet
Published: August 3rd 2010
5/5 Hearts
5/5 Books
5/5 Stars

Week 17 Review: City of Fallen Angels

City of Fallen Angels takes place two months after the events of City of Glass. In it, a mysterious someone's killing the Shadowhunters who used to be in Valentine's Circle and displaying their bodies around New York City in a manner designed to provoke hostility between Downworlders and Shadowhunters, leaving tensions running high in the city and disrupting Clary's plan to lead as normal a life as she can — training to be a Shadowhunter, and pursuing her relationship with Jace. As Jace and Clary delve into the issue of the murdered Shadowhunters, they discover a mystery that has deeply personal consequences for them — consequences that may strengthen their relationship, or rip it apart forever.

Meanwhile, internecine warfare among vampires is tearing the Downworld community apart, and only Simon — the Daylighter who everyone wants on their side — can decide the outcome; too bad he wants nothing to do with Downworld politics. Love, blood, betrayal and revenge: the stakes are higher than ever in City of Fallen Angels.

My review:
Yes!!! Finally got to read this book! PURE AWESOMENESS!!!!!! Loved this book, most absolutely! The only thing bad I have to say is that we have to wait until next year to read the next book! Otherwise, I loved the ending, because it's very mean to us! But from some things I've read, it looks like things are half normal, half they don't know if the person is alive or not.

Look for this book, because it is very great! That's all I have to say :)

Author: Cassandra Clare
Series: The Mortal Instruments #4
Read: April 29th, 2011
Source: Library
Reason Why: I have been loving this series, so I had to read more!
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's, Margaret K. McElderry Books
Published: April 5th 2011
5/5 Hearts
5/5 Books
5/5 Stars

Book Blogger Hop #2, April 30th

Book Blogger Hop

It time for a blog hop hosted by Crazy for Books!
Want to participate?
The Question of the week is: Summer is coming quickly - what 2011 summer release are you are most looking forward to?

My Answer: I am most looking forward to probably The Darkest Surrender by Gena Showalter! It's going to be the 8th in the LotU series. Yep. It might be coming out in September, but I don't really care. It's going to be a great book!

The Lords of the Underworld return in this enthralling tale of an immortal warrior determined to win and the beautiful seductress he can’t resist.

Possessed by the demon of Defeat, Strider cannot lose a challenge without suffering unimaginable pain.  For him, nothing stands in the way of victory.  Until Kaia, an enchanting Harpy, tempts him to the razor’s edge of surrender.

Known among her people as The Disappointment, Kaia must bring home the gold in the Harpy Games or die.  Strider is a distraction she can’t afford because he as an agenda of his own – steal first prize, an ancient godly artifact, before the winner can be named.  But as the competition heats up, only one prize will matter – the love neither had thought possible…

Friday, April 29, 2011

Follow Friday #3, April 29th

Welcome to the Writer’s Follow Friday Blog Hop! Not sure if you qualify? If you have a blog to add, guess what, you’re a writer! So check out the rules, grab the link and join the hop! We’re small for now, but we hope to continue to grow.

The Question: 
Who has been most supportive of your writing?

Now here's MD with her answer:

OOOOHHH, that's a really good question!! Several people have been supportive of my writing... My Husband, Children, and my Parents have all been extremely supportive. Without the blink of an eye they were on board with my being a full time writer. I know that I am very fortunate to have such a great support system. 
     However, I don't think I could get through the bumps in the road and the day to day life of a writer without my amazing writers group, and my friends and partners in crime, the women of 4 Corners Press! They are who I can turn to and trust, they are so supportive of me and I know they have my back, they walk the same walk and understand where I'm coming from. They want to see me succeed as much as I do! So thank you to my Writers Group & 4CP Partners... you have no idea how much I treasure each of you!
     My advice to any aspiring author, or established author for that matter is to have a support system of fellow writers, it's the best tool you can have!

My answer is my writing friends. They encouarage me to write, and they are the ones I tell about my stories.

How do you join in the fun? So glad you asked. It’s really quite simple.

  • 1)      Follow this blog.
  • 2)      Follow Elizabeth Sharp, the host of this hop
  • 3)      Follow MC
  • 4)      Go to Sharp words and copy the image code found there and paste it in your blog. Add your name to the link at the bottom of the post while you are there.
  • 5)      Copy and paste the rules in your blog, as well as this week’s question.
  • 6)      Answer the question
  • 7)      Follow, follow, follow. This is about networking, people, making connections with people in your community. So talk to us. We don't bite! This post serves as a perfect place for you to say hello!
  • 8)      If someone stops by, says hi and follows you, the polite thing to do is follow back.
  • 9)      Comment here and introduce yourself and you just might find a new follower or two.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Author Interview-Infernal Stock by Ronnie

Today I'd like to welcome Ronnie Schiller over for an interview!

Dixon Azel is in eminent danger of going to hell. His boss and coworkers believe that he has lost his touch. As a demon soul broker in the employ of The Corporation--the business side of hell--a reprimand for unsatisfactory performance is a serious affair. Dixon's been in the world too long to go back. He can't imagine giving up sunshine, processed cheese, and network news in exchange for sulfur and flames. A demotion is more than the affable Dixon can handle. Zack, his young manager, gives him an ultimatum, demanding ten souls by the end of the year. Dixon approaches the challenge with his usual arrogance and enthusiasm. He uses romance to ensnare his prey, hunting the gullible members of online dating sites. It seems that Dixon may prevail with finesse. His masterful plans unravel when the young female demon Dixon has been mentoring disappears while working in the field. When she is captured in unfavorable company, the ensuing inquiry opens Dixon's eyes to a new world. He is introduced to an extraordinary group of people who strive to bring balance to the universe. Dixon's experiences change his perspective on a life that he has lived unquestioningly for over 1,000 years. He must choose his path. Should he cling to the career he has mastered, but hates, or risk all to explore the dangerous world of collaborating with the competition? How can he follow his heart if he doesn't know what that means? Full of dark humor, it is the tale of a regular guy working for a heartless corporation, where the CEO happens to be Satan.

Why/how did you start writing?
I started writing when I was in elementary school.  I had a blue plastic manual typewriter, and I'd sit in front of it for hours during the colder months.  I was a solitary kid, and I observed many things that I wanted to preserve.  I continued to write throughout school. I enjoy writing to capture those small moments that often pass unnoticed.

What’s the most common mistake do you think that beginning authors make?
I've noticed that people tend to disregard the mechanics of language. Your story will not enchant readers if you can't spell or use punctuation.  At least, not this reader.

What worries would you tell your past self to get over in the beginning?
Don't worry so much about writing to an audience.  Be true to yourself and the characters you have created. Don't be pretentious.

What would you tell your past self to worry about?
Pagination and proofing.  Do it right the first time.

Are you a plotter, or a pantser-do you do outlines, or do you write what comes to mind?
I suppose I'm a pantser.

If you’re a pantser, how do you wrap up all the loose end?
When I'm writing about Dixon and his friends, I'm retelling events that happened to people I know.  That's how I feel about my characters.  They are as real to me as the people I know in my life, and their world is as developed as my own.  Telling their tales is a natural process for me.
I do jot down a few notes in a separate document as I'm writing so I can keep technical aspects straight, and each of the characters has a profile document--like an online dating profile.

What inspired your first book?
Oddly enough, I had a pet parrot that turned from sweet to vicious overnight.  She had reached breeding age, and it made her so cranky that I had to cover my head when I entered the room, lest she bite my ears.  I joked that she was possessed by the devil.  The story unfolded in my head.  Commuting long distances is awful, but it gives a person plenty of time to daydream.

Do you listen to music while writing?
I listen to music that the main character would like. Dixon likes Chicago blues and Motown soul.

What’s your writing space like?
It's a complete mess.  I sit at a corner desk in my office at home. It's littered with reference books, style guides, and empty coffee cups that never made it back to the kitchen.

Do you have any quirks when it comes to writing?
I would have to have a context to determine whether my behaviour is quirky, so I'm not certain. I refuse to read any other books while I am working on my own.

How did you come up with (main character’s name) and who they are?
Dixon is the sort of anti-hero that I would like to see in fiction.  He is a supernatural character without pretence.  He is a demon, but walks among humans without detection because he's a regular guy...mostly. Dixon's own words:
I look as good as a human can with this ridiculous pink skin and watery eyes.  You have to remember, I’m not actually some guy who hasn’t reached mid-life.  I’m a demon.  I’m the brother of the subtle serpent, the smoky seducer with blue eyes and blue jeans that fit snug in all the right places.  I have strong arms to hold a lover, well-defined abs over a trim waistline, and a broad, muscular back for the ladies to sink their nails into while they cry out in ecstasy.
My well-formed cheekbones, sensual lips, and perfect nose define the very word symmetry.  My black hair is thick and soft.  I stand at 6’ 4” tall.  I’ll withhold further measurement, except to say that I have never risen from the bed of an unsatisfied woman.  That is a fact.

What are you currently working on?
I am wrapping the second book in this series, Infernal Stock II: Dovetail.

What *wrimo* sites are you on? 
Just the main OLL site for NaNoWriMo.

What future plans do you have for your book?
I don't have any specific plans for this book.

If you could write any book that you’ve ever read, what would it be? Why?
Walden.  It's such an inspiring book full of pragmatic wisdom, spiced with a dash of rebellion.  Thoreau lived with integrity and appreciated life.  He gave up material possessions and existed in a place of pure observation and efficiency of action.  I wish that I had that kind of courage.

What authors may you have learned from, from sites and reading their books?
I was very fond of Ray Bradbury when I was younger.  Bradbury created analogies, turning universal human emotions and experiences into alien adventures. He coaxed the reader into discovering truths about everyday life because one has to examine such a foreign circumstance.  He was brilliant.  "All Summer in a Day" is one of my favourites.
I have adored Stephen King since I was 12 years old. His descriptions are some of the best I've read.  He really knows how to get visceral.  I appreciate his tendency to mix magical forces into real life without getting cutesy.

Which of your characters do you relate to the most?
That's a tough call.  Both Dixon and Julia are manifestations of my personality and desires. Dixon has more of my flaws, so I think I favour him.

Do you prefer books to movies in the film adaptation from books?
Ugh. I have to view films as distant cousins to the books, or I go crazy.  The films have to stand on their own merits.  Several people have told me that I should turn my book into a screenplay, but that gives me chills.

Do you get writer’s block? If so, what do you do to pass the time, or get rid of it?
If I get stuck, I talk to one of my friends about the plot.  I pretend I'm recounting events as a witness.  That's usually enough to get me rolling.

One book you wish you hadn’t written, if any?
I wrote a very messy autobiography for my first NaNoWriMo.  It had no central focus.  I'd like to try again and forget about that one.

Authors you look forward to new books from the most?
I'm a big fan of Charlaine Harris right now.  I'm looking forward to her next release in May. I'm looking forward to wrapping up Christopher Paolini's series, The Inheritance Cycle.  I'm always trying to keep up with Stephen King.

Do you have a writing schedule?
I do the bulk of my writing in November, with NaNoWriMo.  I actually save up my vacation time throughout the year so I can spend one week at home around Thanksgiving.

On the top of your head, how many plots and characters do you think you have or have created?
Dixon's universe is so well defined in my mind that I haven't imagined a limit yet. I have at least two more books planned.

A short line from your book that you love?
Her eyes rose and fell as he moved as though she was listening to a song with lyrics she knew by heart.  I was learning to sight-read it.

Your favourite quote?      
The greater part of what my neighbors call good I believe in my soul to be bad,
and if I repent of anything, it is very likely to be my good behavior.
What demon possessed me that I behaved so well?

from the chapter "Economy" in Walden by Henry David Thoreau

*Wrimos are writing months, based on NaNoWriMo in November, there is at least one for every month*

Thank you, Ronnie! You can check out her book here Infernal Stock!

Book Blogger Hop #1, April 27th

Book Blogger Hop
The Question of the week is:
If you find a book you love, do you hunt down other books by the same author?

My Answer:
Yes, most absolutly! If they wrote a treasure of a novel, and I read it, who's to say that I missed out on another one if I didn't seek out the other books this author has written! This is half the reason I have 4 bookcases (besides that I have a lot of books) is becuase I've found books I've loved, like Mind Game by Christine Feehan, one of the many books I found at the church garage sell, Heart of the Dragon by Gena Showalter, All the Pretty Girls by J. T. Ellison (look for reviews for this series in the next month or so!), Acheron by Sherrilyn Kenyon, The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot, Dead Right by Brenda Novak, and Black Order by James Rollins. Many, many books, 2 shelves full, of books of authors that I wanted more of! So yes, I do hunt down a lot of books. I just need about 5-10 more books, and I will have completed series, like the Dark Hunter series, only need about 3 books, or the Dark series, I need about 5 or 6. Yep.  

Waiting on Wednesday #1, April 27th

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

The Devil Colony
To Released on either July 21st, 2011 or the first week of August (the author's website of this page says July, a blog post of the author says August)

From Goodreads:
Deep in the Rocky Mountains, a gruesome discovery—hundreds of mummified bodies—stir international attention and fervent controversy. Despite doubts to the bodies’ origins, the local Native American Heritage Commission lays claim to the prehistoric remains, along with the strange artifacts found in the same cavern: gold plates inscribed with an unfathomable script.

During a riot at the dig site, an anthropologist dies horribly: burned to ash in a fiery explosion in plain view of television cameras. All evidence points to a radical group of Native Americans, including one agitator, a teenage firebrand who escapes with a vital clue to the murder and calls on the one person who might help: her uncle, Painter Crowe, director of Sigma Force.

To protect his niece and uncover the truth, Painter will ignite a war across the nation’s most powerful intelligence agencies. Yet, an even greater threat looms as events in the Rocky Mountains have set in motion a frightening chain reaction, a geological meltdown that threatens the entire western half of the U.S.

From the volcanic peaks of Iceland to the blistering deserts of the American Southwest, from the gold vaults of Fort Knox to the bubbling geysers of Yellowstone, Painter Crowe joins forces with Commander Gray Pierce to penetrate the shadowy heart of a dark cabal, one that has been manipulating American history since the founding of the thirteen colonies.

But can he discover the truth—one that could topple governments—before it destroys all he holds dear?

WWW Wednesday #3, April 27th

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…
• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

Thanks to Should Be Writing  for starting this!

I am currently reading Whisper Kiss by Deborah Cooke. I've already read the previous books in the series, so I can't wait to see what's going to happen in this book!

I just finished reading City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare!! This book was pure awesomeness! Can't wait to post my review!!!

I am planning on reading State of Decay by James Knapp next. I received the second book, Silent Army from Goodreads, so I wanted to know what the story was like before reading the second one.

What about you guys? Happy reading! 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Giveaway-Down the Rabbit Hole 1000 Followers Giveaway!

Go here: Down the Rabbit Hole 1000 Followers Giveaway for a chance to win some books!

Teaser Tuesday #3, April 26th

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read 
  • Open to a random page 
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page 
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) 
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
Today's Teaser comes from Whisper Kiss by Deborah Cooke, page. 17:

"The building cracked like a walnut. And Niall shifted shape to defend the human in his company, without a second thought."

Well, that doesn't sound like fun!

And from my own book, Betrayal I Felt, page 21:

"A river where the dogs would loose our scent, and we’d be able to get away. Perfect. We just had to get there."

What about you guys? So what are your teasers? Happy reading!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Royal Wedding Giveaway from Girls Without a Bookself

Go here: Girls Without A Bookself Royal Wedding Giveaway for a chance to win 5 books in celebration of the upcoming royal wedding! Open internationally!

Author Interview-Chosen by Austine

Today, I'd like to welcome Austine Decker of The Magic Pen over for an interview.

The Labyrinth: a place of monsters and demons, built to protect the greatest treasure of all—the Hatchery.

The Chosen: those cursed to walk its paths forever

The Rider king has led his people to their own destruction. The kingdom of Creta is in turmoil as hurricanes, droughts, and blizzards lay waste to the land. He’s ruled for over a hundred years and the gods are unhappy. They require new blood to purify Creta’s blood-tainted history.

Rayne tried to keep her curse a secret but when she’s magically transported into the Labyrinth, she has no choice but to accept it if she wants to survive. But the Labyrinth is only the beginning of her journey. Tasked with murder, Rayne must not only escape, but defeat the traitor of the gods. If she succeeds, it would mean freedom for her people but at what cost?

As princess, Lea has enjoyed all the comforts of a wealthy lifestyle. Yet it’s not enough. The need for power becomes a driving force as she sets out on a mission to save her brother with the intent of gaining the respect and authority Lea believes she deserves. But power is addictive, and could open a truth for Lea that she can’t accept. Can she fight it, or will it consume her?

One destiny. Two girls. Who will claim it? 

Why/how did you start writing?
I started writing seriously about 4 years ago when I discovered a contest called Writers of the Future. The grand prize was $1,000 and very tempting. I tried to write a novel—and failed. But along the way, I found I really enjoyed writing and haven’t stopped since.

What’s the most common mistake do you think that beginning authors make?
I don’t want to generalize new authors. What I found was my biggest mistake was thinking writing a novel is easy. I figured, “Hey, look at all those books out there. It can’t be that hard.” The reality is that writing takes time, patience, and devotion. It’s hard work and you get from it what you give. The more you write, the better you get, and the greater the reward of finishing a novel is.

What worries would you tell your past self to get over in the beginning?
“It’s going to suck. A lot. But you can always fix it in edits. And even then, it’s going to suck. For a while, at least. Give it time. Your novel will be wonderful when it’s all said and done, and it’ll be well worth the wait.”

What would you tell your past self to worry about?
“Beware of the awful internet. It is a distraction too tempting to pass up, but try your hardest. And that nasty writer’s block will stump you more times than not. You’re going to want to go back and change scenes. Don’t. You’ll never finish your novel otherwise.”

Are you a plotter or a pantser (Do you outline or write what comes to mind)?
I used to be a pantser, but after that first year of NaNoWriMo, I am most definitely a plotter. I’ve found that to effectively complete NaNo with a salvageable novel at the end, an outline is a must because it’s the only thing keeping you on track once the clock strikes midnight November 1st.

If you’re a plotter, what tricks do you use to plot out your novel?
My system is to come up with the beginning, ending, and anything I know will happen in the middle. Then I look at my characters—their flaws, desires, fears, goals. From those I determine the rest of the middle of the novel. Most of my stories are character-driven, so this works well for that.

What inspired your first book?
Chosen came from a reoccurring dream where I saw a girl running through a dark maze-like place. Fog hung heavy in the air and there was something out there that she was running from. I wanted to know what. So I started writing and Chosen sprung forth (after several half-finished drafts, I might add).

Do you listen to music while writing?
Always! I love music and can’t stand to write without the stereo pumping out tunes.

What’s your writing space like?
Messy. Crowded. Messy. I tend to throw papers with ideas on them onto the floor when I get frustrated. A dragon crock pot filled with ideas (on the pieces of paper I didn’t toss on the floor) inside, and a box of notecards for random ideas. Of course, my laptop, and some little wooden bobble-head-like animals in the other corner (two turtles and a fish).

Do you have any quirks when it comes to writing?
I sing—badly—when I’m outlining, but not when I’m writing or I start typing the song lyrics instead of my novel. When I’m writing a battle scene, I can only have songs by Two Steps From Hell playing. Oh, and I refuse to let anyone read my novel until it’s completely finished (and in some cases, also completely edited).

How did you come up with your main character’s name and what are they like?
I found my protagonist’s name, Rayne, while flipping through a baby name book. Sometimes I have this feeling about a name, as if it was meant for that character. She used to be called “Gia” (short for “Giovanna”) but it didn’t feel right. “Rayne” did, so it stuck.

Rayne isn’t your average barmaid. She was born with unusual tattoos surrounding her face that Marked her as one of the Chosen—a select group of people who were born at the same time as a dragon, to which they could bond with. Her caring nature is tested when she’s faced with the challenges of the Labyrinth and a friend’s betrayal, but her strength lies in her persistence. Rayne is stubborn and, at times, a little too headstrong. But her friends love her for it. She’s a natural leader despite trying to stay out of the spotlight most of her life. However, Rayne’s happy with who she is and knows she’ll make the right choices in the end.

Here’s Rayne:
I really shouldn't be talking to you, what with trying to plan a rebellion and all. But you seem nice enough. I guess I should start at the beginning. I used to be a barmaid, ended up a Dragon Rider, and now I'm heading a revolt against our king. My friends say I've changed from my soft-hearted, playful self into the leader they needed. Scorpeo just likes to call me pig-headed behind my back--I'll get him back for that someday. If I had to describe myself, I'd say I was courageous (I faced a Labyrinth filled with monsters. I have the right to gloat a little.), sometimes reckless, not always the greatest decision maker, and definitely not ready to take on the responsibility being thrust upon me. It's a hard life, but I don't think I could ever turn back from it now.

What are you currently working on?
I’m in the process of editing Chosen, along with working on world-building/outlining for an urban fantasy idea I had (working title is Alpha).

What wrimo sites are you on?
Right now, I’m only on the main NaNoWriMo site under “Austine.” My forum habits are less than desirable (as I have a tendency to forget to post because I’m writing) so I’ve avoided joining any others.

What future plans do you have for your book?
I’m hoping to get it published one day, but it still has to go through editing, submitting to agents, etc., before that happens.

What authors inspired you to write your book?
I don’t think I can pinpoint just one author. I’ve read so many great books by so many great authors, and I think it’s the combination of them all that really kept me going until I finished Chosen.

Which of your character do you relate to the most?
For me, as I was writing about Rayne, it was like I was writing about my best friend. She’s strong and sure of herself, and she doesn’t back down when faced with a challenge. Her goals are to survive and to be free from an oppressor. Like me, she’s stubborn as a mule, but other than that, our only common characteristic is that we do what we feel is right. It might not seem that way to others, but we don’t listen to what they have to say if it feels wrong. They say that it’s inevitable that part of a writer will some embed itself in their characters. Rayne holds a part of me that may not be the best part, but it’s there and part of her character.

Do you prefer books to movies in the film adaptation from books?
It depends on the book/movie. For example, I loved Eragon by Christopher Paolini, but hated the movie. On the other hand, I’d rather watch the Vampire Diaries show than read the books by L.J. Smith. But there is an in-between in the form of Harry Potter. I loved the books, and love the movies. But mostly, it depends.

Do you get writer’s block? If so, what do you do to pass the time, or get rid of it?
I always get writer’s block. It’s a curse, I swear. I’ve found the only way to break it is to step away from the computer for a while, turn up the music, and lay on my bed so I can stare at the ceiling. By letting my mind just wander, it takes away the pressure of writer’s block and gets those creative juices flowing again. Showers are pretty helpful too, or sometimes cleaning (no matter how much I detest it).

Authors you look forward to new books from the most?
The ones I can name off the top of my head are Richelle Mead, Scott Westerfeld, Charlaine Harris, Janet Evanovich, Jeaniene Frost, and Tamora Pierce. But there are so many authors I like out there that it’s hard to narrow it down.

Do you have a writing schedule?
Not really. I usually write whenever I have time.

Favorite quote?
“Fairy tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” ~G.K. Chesterton

Austine Decker’s love of reading sparked her to write her debut novel Chosen at the age of sixteen. Previously unpublished, Austine has submitted to and works on the staff of her school’s literary journal, Asylum. Austine lives with her family and assortment of pets, including a devious hamster named Merlin, and plans to attend college after high school. Her drugs of choice are cheese puffs and Skittles, and she loves music almost as much as writing. For more information, you can find her at: The Magic Pen.

Thanks, Austine!