Monday, October 29, 2012

Win an Advanced Reader's Copy of PRODIGY by Marie Lu


Would love to have you follow my blog! Would love it even more if YOU won Marie Lu's newest novel.

By the way, have you read LEGEND? What did you think of it?

Monstrous Monday--A Plethora of Beasties

Witches, ghouls, and monsters...oh my! I want to shout out to Tim Brannon and say thank you for hosting MONSTROUS MONDAY, a Halloweenie bloghop. Since Halloween is one of my very favorite seasons, you can imagine how excited I am to be a part of this blogfest.

So check out Tim's blog: The Other Side, sign up to join the bloghop, and start posting about your own monsters.

Oh, and be sure to grab one of the cool graphics below...

And now, I'd like to introduce you to some of the monsters in my book:

1) Kharon: Yes, the ferryman from Greek mythology. In my horror novel, Kharon is the taxi driver from Hell, literally. He's also a Daimon, which means his once human soul has been corrupted beyond salvation. His soul is now a black hole of endless hunger. He feeds off memories. And once he takes them from you, they're gone forever.

2) Dr. Purgatory: This doctor was once know, the titan who wanted to eat his own son, but legend has it all wrong. Kronos was a starving Greek, and in fact, his wife fed him his children, so the two of them could stay alive. But as punishment, Lucifer made him the doctor of, you guessed it, Purgatory. But he isn't the kind of doctor who heals you. Like Kharon, his human soul has been corrupted. He's now a Daimon and hungers for flesh. However, at times, you see a glimpse of the frail, starving man he once was.

3) Dark Angels: The unfortunate angels who followed Lucifer, straight to Hell. Now, their tattered bloody souls cling to an unshifting plane, but Lucifer is determined to bring Hell to Earth. And he sends them ahead to make way. The dark angels need host bodies to keep their souls from destruction. Which means they come after you. They crush your own soul, take over your body, and ruin your life. And they kill you when they decide to move onto a new host.

4) Flesh Phantoms: Lucifer's favorite pets, but your worst nightmare. They came to Earth through Hell's "piping." The Flesh Phantoms look like crocodiles on growth steroids (think size of two Mini Coopers stuck together) with scales that look flayed. Since they look like they're missing all their own skin, they've decided they'll eat your insides, then wear your skin. Or at least roll around in it.

5) The Beast: Remember 666? I bet you didn't know that symbolic set of numbers represents the three blond curls on what once was a Greek virgin's forehead. Now this oracle has been transformed and set in chains by the Golden One, the dark one, Lucifer. He uses the oracle to predict how his take-over of Earth will be successful. And he brings her--or sadly, should we say it now?--it with him. And then she wrecks havoc. Will anyone be able to stop her?

I hope you've enjoyed these monstrosities from my novel, DEAD DOLL. I've sure enjoyed sharing them with you. What kind of monsters are in your book or favorite video game? What are you dressing up as for Halloween?

Friday, October 26, 2012

Need Inspiration? Check out DeviantArt

This week on A Feast of Fantasy, we're posting links to our favorite websites. Websites that inspire us, websites that guide us through the writing or world-building process, websites we think other sci-fi/fantasy/horror writers (or really any writers) should be aware of.

Whenever I'm first starting a story, I love to find characters and settings that remind me of what I'm writing. DeviantArt hasn't failed me yet, and I doubt it ever will. Plus, people on the site also often post stories of their own. So if you’re needing inspiration, check out DeviantArt!

If you’d like to find my profile (I warn you, I’m not terribly active), look up EYWriterEditor, and my profile will pop up.

This post was originally on A Feast of Fantasy. Come join our Tumblr blog.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Gearing Up for NaNoWriMo

Guess what time of year it is?!

Time for Halloween, you say? Time for Thanksgiving and Christmas with turkey, ham, and yams? Close, but not quite.

It's almost time for NaNoWriMo! For those of you who don't know, NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month. So you can guess what I'll be doing for the next thirty-odd days.

If you're interested in joining in the fun (and believe me, it is TONS of fun), then visit the official NaNoWriMo website. Once you've seen what it's all about, create a profile. You can tell the world a bit about you, the author, and your novel project. You can search for friends, browse the forums, and join a meet-up group. In a week, plus one day, all the coolest people in the world will be converging on this one site and uploading their word count for the day.

How many words do you write for the month of November? 50,000. So, depending on your genre, you might not actually finish your project, but you can sure get a headstart. Think 50K sounds like too much? Then write 5K or 10K. The point of NaNoWriMo isn't to drive you crazy. It's to get your writing every day and establishing writing as a part of your daily routine.

If you go on my NaNoWriMo profile (access the link here), you can see I've been doing NaNoWriMo since '06, though I missed last year. And I've won every year! Meaning, I got to print of a certificate, order a t-shirt, and brag to the world that I'd written 50,000 words in a single month. This year, I already have my author profile revised and a bit about the new project I'll be working on: THE LAST FRONTIER.

For those of you who're sad to see DEAD DOLL fade into the background, have no fear. My plan is to have the third draft completed by the end of this month, and I'll go back to it in December. But for November, I wanted to work on a completely new project. For those of you who love DEAD DOLL, you may be in for a treat. The people who've had a sneak preview of the pre-writing I've done on THE LAST FRONTIER love it even more.

So stay turned for my NaNoWriMo updates! I'll try to do a weekly blogpost on those, as well as my book reviews.

Are you doing NaNoWriMo? If so, let's connect!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Review of SPEED OF LIGHT--Fenestra series #3

Hi Everyone!

Thanks for stopping by my blog for the review of Amber Kizer's third volume of the Fenestra series: SPEED OF LIGHT. For those of you who don't know, I receive advanced reader's copies of books through the independent bookstore, Full Circle, at which I work, and I ALWAYS post reviews on the books I take home. I do one a month.

If you have requests for reviews, please leave a comment! I'll do my best to get that book, and I'll let you know when you can expect to see the review.

This month, I'm reviewing SPEED OF LIGHT because it debuts in hardcover next month! I'm sure those of you who've read the previous Fenestra books will be very glad indeed to see this volume come out at last. If you have any more questions about the book's release, visit Amber Kizer's website at this link. Or you can always ask me. I'm happy to answer.

I admit I didn't read the previous two volumes, MERIDIAN and WILDCAT FIRELIES, and to be honest, I probably won't. Here's why.

SPEED OF LIGHT is over 500 pages long, but it doesn't need to be. I love fast-paced, high stakes, and action-packed stories. While this has the potential to be that, the heavy prose weighs the plot down. I felt that what most authors would say in a page, Kizer says in multiple chapters. If you like that kind of endless introspection, then this book is for you.

At times, I found the switch between Juliet and Meridian's points of view to be too abrupt, and if Meridian's chapters had been labeled with the subtitle of her name, the infusion I experienced would have become nearly nonexistent. On this same note, I found the climax itself to be confusing. I found myself rereading the chapters trying to understand exactly how the Fenestra save the day--but I won't spill the details of the climax, itself.

I have family in Indiana, so the mention of Lebanon (a small town in Indiana) touched my heart. However, I couldn't help but wonder how thrilled young readers--who often come from small towns--would be about this all-important third book in the series centering around the Indy 500 in rural Indiana. Not my idea of the best place to stage the novel, but also not my choice.

But the plot and subplots are intricate. The characters are well-rounded and well developed. I enjoyed the way Juliet compared the world to food. Gus and Faye's story culminates beautifully, and the final chapters made me smile. For those who fell in love with Kizer's prose style and characters, I do believe this volume will not disappoint. After all, who doesn't love rainbows and happy endings?

Do you have thoughts/comments on Kizer's newest novel? If so, be sure to share! And let me know if you purchase a copy of SPEED OF LIGHT. I'm anxious to hear your thoughts.

Until next time!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

DEAD DOLL--An Update on the Edit

As of today, I'm fifteen pages from the end of the first edit of my YA horror novel, DEAD DOLL, the first in a trilogy.

I'm drawing to a close, which has caused me to reflect on many aspects of the book. Here are some of the things I'm mulling over...

1) Is my novel truly horror? If most of the main characters are already dead, how can that be horrific? What's worse than death in people's eyes? So I'm thinking about changing the genre to paranormal.

2) Should I use loss of memory as a device throughout the story? At first, I liked the concept of weaving memories into the framework of the novel. Now that I've actually done it, I've decided I hate it. So I've massively changed the way I'm using memory loss.

3) How the heck do you write romance? I have a romantic subplot between my main character and two guys, so guess what I'm doing. I'm rereading TWILIGHT. Yes, Stephanie Meyer's book that so many of my friends hate so adamantly, to try and learn how to write romance.

4) Where is the true climax of my novel? I suppose this one wasn't as hard to figure out as some of my other questions, but I'm significantly changing plot point 2 and the last few chapters (and adding in a scene) to fit my new take on what, plot-wise, must be revealed in book 1.

and 5) How do I work in more material? My book is a little over 75,000 words, which means that it's of an adequate length. But I want more. And if I want more, I think readers will, too.

So wish me luck on these last few pages. Then wish me even more luck as I dig into this massive rewrite.

What do you like to see most in novels? What's your favorite YA paranormal novel, and why? And if you're writing a book, like me, how's it going?

Until next time!

Friday, October 12, 2012

FIRE by Kristin Cashore

For this post, I thought I’d review not Kristin Cashore’s latest fantasy novel, BITTERBLUE, but my very favorite of her three books: FIRE.

I adored this novel. In fact, it made my top 25 favorite fantasy novel lists pretty soon after I cracked it open (it may be even higher on the list now). Cashore weaves a brilliant, beautiful, and tragic storyline. I think this story affected me so deeply because of the levels of conflict the main character struggles with. She has internal, personal, and external conflict wearing on her from all sides in this novel. It’s also a companion to her first novel, GRACELING, so it was fun to see how the books tied together.

Do I want another book about Lady Fire? Yes! Please!!

If you haven’t read the book, here’s a quick synopsis:

It is not a peaceful time in the Dells. In King City, the young King Nash is clinging to the throne, while rebel lords in the north and south build armies to unseat him. War is coming. And the mountains and forest are filled with spies and thieves. This is where Fire lives, a girl whose beauty is impossibly irresistible and who can control the minds of everyone around her. Exquisitely romantic, this companion to the highly praised Graceling has an entirely new cast of characters, save for one person who plays a pivotal role in both books. You don’t need to have read Graceling to love Fire. But if you have, you’ll be dying to read it next.

And if you haven’t read it, mark it on your reading to-do list. I promise it’s worth it. I’m waiting now for the movie to come out…

Let meknow if you hear any news about movie rights being bought. And let me know what you think about Cashore’s second novel, FIRE!

Until next time!

(You can find my original review of FIRE at this link.)

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Review of MYSTIC CITY--Plus the Book Trailer

Thanks for Full Circle Books, I got an advanced reader's copy for Theo Lawrence's debut novel, MYSTIC CITY. I started the book two days ago and finished it while on the elliptical tonight.

Wow. What a read. My own main character struggles from memory loss, as Lawrence's does, which immediately brought it close to my heart. A second sign that this is an excellent first novel is the fact that I read it in two days. Two tiny days! While I'm working three jobs, writing my own book, etc. on the side. Long story short, I really couldn't put it down.

Here's the skinny on the plot (thanks Goodreads):

For fans of Matched, The Hunger Games, X-Men, and Blade Runner comes a tale of a magical city divided, a political rebellion ignited, and a love that was meant to last forever. Book One of the Mystic City Novels.

Aria Rose, youngest scion of one of Mystic City's two ruling rival families, finds herself betrothed to Thomas Foster, the son of her parents' sworn enemies. The union of the two will end the generations-long political feud—and unite all those living in the Aeries, the privileged upper reaches of the city, against the banished mystics who dwell below in the Depths. But Aria doesn't remember falling in love with Thomas; in fact, she wakes one day with huge gaps in her memory. And she can't conceive why her parents would have agreed to unite with the Fosters in the first place. Only when Aria meets Hunter, a gorgeous rebel mystic from the Depths, does she start to have glimmers of recollection—and to understand that he holds the key to unlocking her past. The choices she makes can save or doom the city—including herself.

Sounds good, doesn't it? And it is. Lawrence writes a fast-paced love story, full of twists and turns. Though the love story is somewhat predictable, and the bad guys are obvious, the main character is, herself, so engaging, that the books' few flaws really don't matter. 

Plus, the cover is awesome! It looks like a hologram. So buy the print copy of the book. The effect's worth it, and it'll look cool on your bookshelf. 

MYSTIC CITY comes out on October 9th of this year, so be sure to pre-order a copy or head to your favorite bookstore early. I'm pretty sure this book will sell out FAST.

Also, enjoy this book trailer from Random Books!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Meeting a Penguin Books Sales Rep

I've been raving about my job at Full Circle to everyone I meet. In addition to being surrounded by and getting to sell the product of the gods (books), I also get to borrow them from the store, take home advanced readers' copies and blog about them, and now, I'm getting to meet fabulous people from the publishing industry.

A sales rep from Penguin books, specifically from Razorbill (the YA imprint) stopped by our store yesterday. She and I spent over a half hour walking through the YA section. She pointed out great titles that I MUST read, and she promised to send me some titles that I could review on here.

And she ever good at her job. It's a good thing this week wasn't pay week because I would have snapped up all the titles she pointed out to me. I did make a long list on my iPad though. I'll be good and work through them one at a time (probably).

I also got to talk to her some about my own YA trilogy. She seemed super excited about the idea. When my book is out on the shelves, I'll have to return the favor she's done for me and send her a copy. I sure hope that I'll have someone as fabulous as she was out there promoting my book alongside me. It's great to meet a cheerleader who spurs you on toward your goal.

Speaking of which, I need to go edit.

What are you doing this crisp fall weekend? Curling up with a good book and an electric blanket? Plugging in that movie marathon you've been looking forward to? Taking naps? I plan on doing all of the above.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

William Bernhardt Releases 12 E-Book Titles--Plus something extra...

Today was a big day for New York Times Bestselling author, William Bernhardt. Mysterious Press released his back list--the early Ben Kincaid novels and several other titles--as e-books. I know I'd been waiting for those early titles to be released. I'm sure many of you out there who've been searching for those books will be overjoyed. You can find a link to those books here.

If you haven't read a William Bernhardt novel before, you're in for a gigantic treat. His writing is excellent; his plots are filled with twists and turned. He's called the "king of the courtroom drama" for a reason.

Keep an eye out on this Mysterious Press author page of Bill's because they'll also be releasing a film--you can see Bill in his every day life, doing the things that he does best--writing, teaching, practicing law, and...are you ready for it? Playing the piano. (He's Oklahoma's Renaissance Man, according to OSU.)

This is a big week for this New York Times bestselling author. He's ALSO the featured poet in Conclave--A Journal of Character. Bill is an inspiration to all of us aspiring writers. He proves that you can be literary and commercial. And it doesn't get better than that.

Which of Bill's titles are your favorite? I'm a huge fan of DARK EYE, which features a woman named Susan Pulaski. I'm waiting for a third book about her...