30 January 2013

Updated Look

I updated my blog because I hadn't really changed it in the three years I've had it. I wanted something that looked a little more professional. I chose the leaves because it applies to my novel. I hope you all like the changes.

The Next Big Thing

“THE NEXT BIG THING” is to raise awareness of our work, or work in progress. We do that by answering ten questions about it. We graciously thank the person who nominated us, and tag four to six other authors whose work could very well be THE NEXT BIG THING.

When I was first approached about doing this by Lehua Parker I said no. Less than ten minutes later I bit the bullet and said yes. I haven’t done much promotion with my novel and I keep telling myself it is because I don’t have a publication date. The truth of it: I am scared. I am sure many authors at one point felt the fear that their book is going to flop and so what is the point of marketing it. I really do like my book, so here I am.

What is the working title of your next book?
EIDOLON. All my beta readers thought I made it up, but it is from ancient Greek literature meaning: image, idol, double, apparition, phantom, or ghost.

Where did the idea come from for the book?
I liked the idea of self-perpetuating motion with a cost that didn’t harm the planet. I mean, we can always use more trees, right?

What genre does your book fall under?
Science Fiction – The characters aren’t young adults but it doesn’t have anything that is inappropriate for a YA audience.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I had a grand idea of using anime characters in place of actors, after seeing THE HOBBIT this weekend I decided to stick to my original thought. I hate the idea of having my book made into a movie. If that ever happened, I would take the money and run without looking back.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Jak and Lesli are given the deadly choice whether to side with Eidolon, the leader of a rebellion who is protesting a self-sustaining energy that has overrun their world with a vast and unending forest.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
My book is going to be published by TM Publishing. The book will be available this Spring. I am kind of hoping it is around Arbor Day.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Less than a month (and it wasn’t even for NaNoWriMo.) Granted the sequel took me about 6 months to write and I still have a lot of fleshing out to do. I’d never written a sequel before.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
This is the question that always throws me for a loop, and I really need to work on a good response. It is a science fiction story that takes place during a Victorian-style era.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Is it my imagination or is this questing eerily similar to another one I answered. I will have to say trees. . . trees inspired me to write this book.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Though it seems at first to be fantasy it is all technology based. They ride spherical wheeled motorcycles and fight with lightsaber-like swords that can fire projectiles.

I didn’t actually ask anyone else to join in, so I’m just linking to some of my friends who have already participated.

Lehua Parker
Eric Bishop
Paul Genesse

25 January 2013

Princess of the Silver Woods

by Jessica Day George

PRINCESS OF THE SILVER WOODS is the third book in Jessica Day George's Princess series. I liked it more than the second one, but I don't know if I liked it more than the first. I've decided the advantage with this book is the fact that we've gotten to know the other princesses already and so when they popped up we didn't have to have a full introduction. We can spend more time with them as characters.

PRINCESS OF THE SILVER WOODS focuses on the youngest, Princess Petunia. She is on her way to visit the Duchess Volenskaya when she is attacked by the wolves of the forest. Only these wolves aren't furry four-legged friends. Instead they are a band of men trying to support themselves after losing their land. Oliver should be an earl, but rather is the leader of the band of wolves. He accidentally abducts Petunia and becomes involved with the twelve princesses and their past difficulties. The King Under the Stone is back and he wants the princesses back and will do anything to accomplish it. Petunia won't stand for it and won't be bullied into anything.

I really enjoyed reading this book. Earlier this week I mentioned the knitting project I completed. The pattern came from PRINCESS OF THE SILVER WOODS. I love the fact that Jessica Day George puts knitting patterns in her princess books. It seems to me that she is often knitting and I have been to several conferences and seen her working on a project. I'm not saying that you should read these books because of the cool knitting projects, but you should read them because she does a wonderful job of retelling fairy tales in a fresh manner.

23 January 2013

New Knitting

This weekend I didn’t do what I should, but I did what I wanted. When I visited my parents a couple of weeks ago, I saw a freshly finished knitting project my mother had done. They were fingerless gloves, and she got the pattern from Jessica Day George’s PRINCESS OF THE SILVER WOODS book. I am a sucker for cute fingerless gloves and when I asked my mother she was fairly confident that I could do it. I have knitted three scarfs, but since I use fancy yarn the scarfs look a lot more difficult than they actually are.

While the glove is a simple 3 knit 2 purl pattern, the truth of the matter is I have avoided knit stitches. I also have never cast on properly. I always made up my own method which seemed to work fairly well for my basic scarfs. I probably started the first glove at least a dozen times. But after working on it all weekend, instead of cleaning like I should, I was able to finish the first glove. I spent Monday night sitting in my husband’s office watching Project Runway and knitting while Moose ran tests. I was so excited to wear them on Tuesday and they keep my hands warm and don’t interfere with my typing. (I think I would be able to play the piano in an ice rink as well, but I don’t think I will ever need to test the theory.)

18 January 2013


by Ally Condie

REACHED is the third and final installment of the series. I found it satisfying. I guess I can’t end there, but that is really just about it. Ally Condie created a civilization that while is somewhat unbelievable (as to it ever actually happening) is rather feasible (in how it works, and subsequently how it breaks). REACHED shows more of the underbelly of what is going on without giving everything away all at once. In fact even up until the end, she left me in suspense as to a mystery presented in MATCHED.

If any of you have read my post on CROSSED, you will see that I guessed correctly. Not only does Cassia and Ky have perspective chapters, but Xander does as well. From his perspective we learn a little more about the past as he lived it, which wasn’t all what I was expecting. (I like surprises that aren’t unintentional). With Ky, Cassia, and Xander striving for the same cause, we learn more about what the society was planning as well as the rebellion. The Pilot plays an important role and yet I didn’t care about him as much. One of the big issues is still the love triangle, which does work out satisfactory. And the end of the book leaves enough open that I can still imagine what the characters will be doing. I don’t need every little thing tied up into a bow. I like to have happy endings with possibilities, and that is what Ally Condie gave me.

I hope that Ally Condie writes more. I have enjoyed the books I’ve read, including FRESHMAN FOR PRESIDENT, and I like how she still can put a twist into the story that I don’t always see coming, though I am not always the sharpest reader. I don’t know how often I will re-read the entire series, but I know I will probably go back to it over the years and enjoy it again.

16 January 2013

Electronics are Evil (Some of the Time)

I hate computers. I can use them moderately well, but they drive me bonkers. I am battling with our netbook. It wasn't booting up, but now it doesn't want to remember that it use to have Windows on it. I've been trying to re-register our Windows, and the sticker is gone. I mean the Netbook is only four years old, who would have guessed that the sticker on the bottom of the computer would eventually wear off. I guess this just means that I need to do a better job of keeping track of all of the password keys and junk.

Over Christmas vacation I obtained a Nook. Now before all of you judge me, though I am probably to late, let me explain. My coworker sold it to me at half price. I knew that I would want one eventually for when I travel. This last week I had an appointment and instead of cramming my thousand page WHEEL OF TIME paperback into my purse, I just took the Nook. It was really useful. I also have manuals for Church. Yet I have yet to read anything on it when I am home. And it isn't because I haven't been reading. I have read a quarter of the WoT book and finished Jessica Day George's PRINCESS OF THE SILVER WOODS.

On this note, the last WoT book came out on the 8th. Let me rephrase, the hard back version came out. The e-book is coming out in April. Moose and I went to B&N website on Sunday and were surprised to see 46 one-star reviews and 48 five-star reviews. The majority of the one-star reviews were because the e-book wasn't out yet. I hope that someday the e-book is included in the hard back. I would even be willing to pay a little more for that, since I have an e-reader now. Who would have guessed I would have gotten one so soon.

11 January 2013


by Robison Wells

FEEDBACK is the sequel and conclusion to VARIANT. I received it as a Christmas present this year and it was one of the six books I read during my Christmas break. I am so glad that I didn’t have to put it down because of mundane things, like work. I thought the conclusion was satisfactory, even if it wasn’t exactly what I wanted. Though that isn’t to say I wouldn’t mind another book revolving around these characters. I can’t wait to read the next thing Rob writes.

So Benson has escaped from the school, but he hasn’t escaped Maxfield. Instead he is forced into another society controlled by the officials from the school. Benson knows many of those at the town, but not as well as he thought. Maxfield creates androids using the people at the town as molds. Benson isn’t content with hiding out in the town, but wants to escape for good and take as many of his friends as he can. Only breaking back in might be harder than it was to get out in the first place.

I really need to go back and reread VARIANT because I am sure there is some foreshadowing I missed. As I mentioned earlier, the ending wasn’t what I expected. Part of my issue was I felt like it kind of came out of nowhere. I also wanted to have a little more information as to some of the antagonist’s past. I thought that Robison Wells did a good job on making me care for the characters. I really grew attached to the characters and felt invested in their future. I like the fact that his characters has realistic doubts and reactions. Benson is flawed, but it didn’t make him whiney or annoying, it just made him that much more real to me.

09 January 2013

A Review Like No Other

Just this last week Moose and I watched a new anime series. (No surprises there I am sure.) This particular series is based on a video game. It can be a real hit or miss when it comes to basing movies off of video games (as is shown in Hollywood). We haven’t played the game and yet found the series satisfactory. Moose now wants to try his hand at the game. While I was surfing the web I thought of this and decided to look up the game and see if it was even worth getting for him at some future date. There are actually three PS2 games that all kind of link together. (This isn’t just like there being 15 or so Final Fantasy games, this is in order to get the entire plot you have to play all three games and your characters develop over the course of all three games. We have another game like this and it is kind of cool.)

So as I was looking at the game I was pleased to see that the first installment is actually rated pretty good on Amazon. I just clicked on the second one and noticed the ratings were quite as good and then I came across this review (I edited out chunks).

Playing this game is like channeling saidin.
3.0 out of 5 stars
April 23, 2005
By Karrigan Ambrian
Fun: 1.0 out of 5 stars
The story is Good.
Now, on to Dark One's taint = the gameplay.
In conclusion, let me just say that I hope Episode 3 is better, or I will go insane. Or the Red Ajah will come for me in the form of Final Fantasy XII.

What a riot!

For the past two years I have been working my way through the WHEEL OF TIME series. (For those of you who don’t know, the 14th, and final, book came out on the 8th. I am about a quarter of the way through book 13 (though that isn’t counting the prequel now that I think about it). For the past two years I have always been in the middle listening to or reading one of these massive epic fantasy novels. I have enjoyed reading them, when not trying to strangle the characters through the pages. In my mind, WHEEL OF TIME is one of the biggest fantasy series to have ever been written. I have memories of my family reading the books when I was little (though they all told me to wait until the end was in sight). I remember my mother talking about the waiting list at the library to get them. And yet, I am surprised at how many readers don’t actually know them. I tell other fantasy readers I am working my way through WHEEL OF TIME and more than half give me a blank stare.
So, to come across a video game review (from seven years ago) that uses saidin as a comparison, I was impressed at the creativity though I wonder how many people who are thinking about purchasing this game actually get reference, probably more than I think.

04 January 2013

One Boy, No Water

by Lehua Parker

Sorry it has been so long since I have written. I’ve been on vacation and my vacation includes vacation away from computers. I had a wonderful time with family, and books. During the two weeks of Christmas vacation I read six books, and it is one of those that I want to review today. This book is actually written by a friend of mine and I am glad that I have gotten to know her better over the course of the year.

ONE BOY, NO WATER is the first book in a middle grade series. It is written by Lehua Parker, who grew up on Hawaii. She brings to the table something I don’t often see in books meant for the age group. The characters speak in the common pidgin English found on the islands. While this might not make it the best for children using books to gain a greater grasp of proper English, it makes the book more real, and by the end I hardly realized the broken grammar. That was just how they speak and it made them endearing. (My favorite is listening to Lehua read it. That really brings the cadence to life.)

ONE BOY, NO WATER is about Zader, a boy who is allergic to water. His past is a mystery since he was found on the reef. Every time his skin comes in contact with water, including condensation from a soda can, his skin burns and turns rough. After a few minutes the burning sensation leaves and new skin regrows. Zader loves art and his practically twin brother, Jay, loves to surf. Zader is stuck watching from a distance because the water is so dangerous. Yet even on the shore, Zader’s peace is threatened by the Niuhi sharks lurking in the deep.

I want the next book. This one gives some great conclusions, yet the end leaves everything wide open. One of my favorite things is the fact that Lehua doesn’t shy away from the Hawaiian language. At the beginning of every chapter she introduces a new phrase. While I can’t pronounce half of the phrases, I loved the added layer of information.