Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sixteen pages

Sixteen pages is all that stands between me and "THE END".    Oh how I long to be done.  But the sixteen pages doesn't include the epilogue which is another ten pages.  Sometimes I think it is the never-ending WIP.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Update on writing and playlist

This post is a long time in coming.  Yeah, I'm 35 pages away from being done.  Again.

Anyway, I'm stalled so I'm taking a break and added a playlist here (new tab at top) 

My WIP focuses quite a bit on piano playing and some of the pieces are not well known.  So the playlist  is so readers can come here and listen to what the kids are playing, listening to.

I will flesh it out with mood music at some point. Probably once the WIP is edited/proofed to my satisfaction.

Book Review - Daughter Of The Goddess by Rita J. Webb

Today I am reviewing the Novella "Daughter Of The Goddess" by Rita J. Webb.

I was contacted by the author who sent me this blurb:

DAUGHTER OF THE GODDESS is a novella that has been called “heart-warming” and “sweet”.

Take a free-spirited teenage girl.

Throw in a childhood vow and a stolen kiss.

Add a demon hell-bent on destroying everything the gods love.

And I’ll give you my own rendition of the Greek myth Eros & Psyche.

The thing that caught me was the re-telling of the Eros and Psyche story as it is one of my favorites.  So I agreed to do it.  However, after reading it, I found it has limited similarities so I was disappointed.  I think I should have looked at the blurb on Amazon.  Which is this:

From Amazon.com

The Heart.
The God of Love seeks a bride who is pure in heart and full of life—full of soul. Instead of a woman, he finds a child with laughter in her heart. Waiting for her to grow up, he befriends her, pretending to be nothing more than a blue-eyed boy with wild, tangled hair.

The Soul.

Left on the temple doorstep, a young girl turns the lives of the priestesses upside down . . . until one summer day before her eighteenth birthday, a traveling oracle tells her she is to marry a stranger in a foreign land.

The Nightmare.

An ancient demon—half-man, half-snake—wants to destroy anything the gods love. When she was a child, he haunted her dreams, but now he stalks her across the countryside. If he catches her, he’ll devour her.


The above is a more accurate description of the novel.  Although I'd leave out "The Heart" and "The Nightmare" part of the above. 

At the core, it is the story of a a young girl growing up. It also had a subtle Christian theme to it:  God's love and forgiveness.   Because it was short (85 pages), it didn't have time to really flesh out the characters and the plot was very straightforward.

Still, a sweet little story.  Well written, no typos.   

I think it is younger YA or I don't think I'd be afraid of MG girls reading it either. 

 I'm giving this three stars - Liked it more than I didn't like it  

Disclaimer - I was gifted an e-book copy in exchange for an honest review.      

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Review: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Here is the description from Amazon.com

Oct. 11th, 1943—A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it's barely begun.

When “Verity” is arrested by the Gestapo, she's sure she doesn’t stand a chance. As a secret agent captured in enemy territory, she’s living a spy’s worst nightmare. Her Nazi interrogators give her a simple choice: reveal her mission or face a grisly execution.

As she intricately weaves her confession, Verity uncovers her past, how she became friends with the pilot Maddie, and why she left Maddie in the wrecked fuselage of their plane. On each new scrap of paper, Verity battles for her life, confronting her views on courage and failure and her desperate hope to make it home. But will trading her secrets be enough to save her from the enemy?

Harrowing and beautifully written, Elizabeth Wein creates a visceral read of danger, resolve, and survival that shows just how far true friends will go to save each other. Code Name Verity is an outstanding novel that will stick with you long after the last page.

Yeah, it stuck with me all right.  I'm not doing a "what I liked, didn't like" thing here because the things I like and didn't like are kind of the same.

The first part of the book is from one of the girl's POV's, the second is from the other girl's POV.  The first part starts off slow, with the first girl writing down how she met the second girl, how they ended up in that plane, how it crashed.  It kind of rambles and I had to force myself to read it, dreading the ending even as I continued on.  I kind of wondered what all the hullaballoo about this book was.  Maybe it was all the historical detail?  I kind of felt like the author was trying to give me a history lesson, sugar-coating it as a YA novel.

Then I got to the second part, the story through the second girl's POV.  This also rambles on as she describes her situation after crashing.  Again, I'm wondering what the heck is so good about this book?
It isn't until the last quarter of book, when we see how the first part and the second part are tied together that the lightbulb came on.

This book is brilliant!  Without giving anything away, I felt smarter for reading it.  I also had to go back and read the first part again.

But I did have to force myself to read through 3/4th of the book before I saw the payoff and I don't know that I would have if so many people hadn't told me how good it is.

I'm giving this four out of five stars, which is "I liked it but not sure you will".

Friday, October 5, 2012

Slammed & Point Of Retreat by Colleen Hoover

First off, I have to say I've read "Easy" by Tammara Webber like three times now, I liked it THAT much.

Okay, now that I got that out of my system, here is another set of books I devoured.  "Slammed" and "Point Of Retreat".

"Slammed" Description from Amazon.com:

Falling in love can feel like poetry. Or it can feel like a slam to the heart.
Colleen Hoover’s romantic, emotion-packed debut novel unforgettably captures all the magic and confusion of first love, as two young people forge an unlikely bond before discovering that fate has other plans for them.
Following the unexpected death of her father, eighteen-year-old Layken becomes the rock for both her mother and younger brother. She appears resilient and tenacious, but inside, she's losing hope. Then she meets her new neighbor Will, a handsome twenty-one-year-old whose mere presence leaves her flustered and whose passion for poetry slams thrills her.
Not long after a heart-stopping first date during which each recognizes something profound and familiar in the other, they are slammed to the core when a shocking discovery brings their new relationship to a sudden halt. Daily interactions become impossibly painful as they struggle to find a balance between the feelings that pull them together and the forces that tear them apart. Only through the poetry they share are they able to speak the truth that is in their hearts and imagine a future where love is cause for celebration, not regret.

Sometimes two people have to fall apart to realize just how much they belong together.
"Point of Retreat" Description from Amazon.com:

Colleen Hoover entranced readers everywhere with her bestselling novel Slammed, the book that introduced Layken and Will, a young couple whose love overcame devastating hardships to emerge stronger and more resilient than before. Now, as Layken and Will’s emotion-packed story continues, a stunning and unforeseen revelation about Will’s past leaves them questioning everything that they thought they knew about each other. With the foundation of their relationship at risk, they must decide whether they are willing to fight for a future together, or to retreat back into solitude and heartache.

How far does Will have to go to prove to Layken his love for her will last forever? It will require something truly extraordinary to keep this couple together, and the decisions they make and the answers they find will change not only their lives, but the lives of everyone around them.

What I liked

The plot of the first book.  Without giving anything away, it is a real doozy of a situation Will and Lake find themselves in. 

The strength of both the characters.  They both go through some stuff and make choices that my younger, weaker self could never have handled. 

The younger brothers and best friends.  They're funny! They're loveable.

Julia.  You see where Lake gets her strength from.

The slam.  I'm not a fan of poetry but I liked this. Especially the slam that Caulder (Will's younger brother) does towards the end of Point Of Retreat.  It had me in tears.

What I didn't like

Hmm, can't really think of anything.  These are minor, grasping for something to put here so it doesn't sound like an advertorial.

a)  the covers.  C'mon.  They look like text books.
b)  the price.  I'm used to my free/99 cent books.  These are $7.99 each I believe (on kindle).  Still, I'm not sorry I bought them.

OH, and when you're done with both books, go to the author's website and then to "what I'm working on now."  She's got the prologue to the third book up and it is everything I wanted.  I said "Ah!" after reading.

Another 5 out of 5 rating.  I'm on a roll!