Wednesday, July 31, 2013

NOT YOUR AVERAGE FAIRYTALE by Chantelle Sedgewick

Ash Summerland has it all-good looks, popularity, and the best grades at The Academy of Magical Beings. Ready to complete his last assignment in order to graduate, Ash is confident he will get the apprenticeship he wants. but when he opens the letter from the Council, he is shocked to discover he has been assigned to apprentice Lady Shenelle, Keeper of Happy Endings- aka the head fairy godmother. Ash is forced to grant three wishes to a troubled human girl named Kendall, and ultimately give her a "happy ever after." But Kendall turns out to be more than he bargained for. Still grieving over her father's death, she doesn't want anything to do with Ash. And worst of all, she doesn't believe in happy endings.

First line:
"I stared at the gold-flecked envelope in my hand, trying to ignore my pounding heart."

Good, clean read. Any teenager girl would enjoy this story. This is the first book in a possible trilogy.


Ash has magic running through his blood, though he's not sure what kind. Elf? Fairy? One of his parents is human, the other unknown. So Ash goes to a school for magical beings and this is the year he is chosen to apprentice. He really wants to work with Sandman because then he can manipulate dreams and time. But what does he get instead?? Fairy Godmother, er, Boy? Ash is not happy with this but if he can fulfill his assignment, he might still have a shot with Sandman. 
What Ash doesn't count on is Kendall (hello? boys name for a girl?). She intrigues Ash and soon he finds he's falling for her. 
The title is accurate. This is not your average fairytale. It's not a retelling either. It's a different look into a different, magical realm. Ms. Sedgwick did a good job keeping me intrigued and reading. The chapters alternate between Ash and Kendall and are good insights into each character.
Teen girls AND boys will like this book! 




Rated: PG
V: Some fighting
L: No
S: A kiss or two


Liked:
Ash
Kendall
Teen boy Fairygodmother


Disliked:
Ending (Waiting for next book?)

  

4 1/2 STARS
 

Monday, July 29, 2013

LDStorymakers Conference~ Twitter with Jaime Theler

Jaime taught that Twitter is a great tool for writers to connect with other writers, industry professionals, and readers. I didn't get to Jaime's class, but she sent me her power point. I'm going to share a bit of her advice here.

Why Twitter?
Find people with similar interests
Form relationships with groups of people
Keep up with people & events in real time

Twitter is not Facebook or a place to spew out advertising. Twitter is not private.
Twitter is all about connecting.

Twitter basics:
Make a good handle (I'm @taffylovell)
140 characters (spaces, periods, etc count)
Can include links

Twitter terms:
tweet = posting on Twitter
RT = retweeted~ You can retweet a whole tweet or add a comment if there's room
DM = direct message~ a private message
hashtag= used to mark events or keywords in a tweet (like #storymaker13)

There are some really good hashtags for writers. You can also join twitter chats. Here are the ones Jaime showed:

 (Double check times)
#litchat – Mondays, MST: 2-3 p.m.
#kidlitchat – Tuesdays, MST: 7 p.m.
#ThrillerChat, Wednesdays, MST: 6 p.m.
#YALitChat, Wednesdays, MST: 7 p.m.
#bookmarket, Thursdays, MST: 12-1 p.m.
#scifichat, Fridays, MST: 12-2 p.m.




Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Hooray for awesome stuff happening to friends!

This is too cool to not post (congrats, Peggy!!). Every fall American Booksellers Association chooses books to promote in the fall and Peggy's book SKY JUMPERS is on it! Here is the link: totally awesomesauce link



Titles Announced, Signup Opens for Fall Celebrate Debut Authors Promotion

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The relationship between booksellers and emerging authors is markedly symbiotic. While booksellers are always looking for new talent to fill their stores’ shelves, authors in the early stages of their careers hope to find someone who will enjoy –– and sell –– their books. To highlight this vital bond, Celebrate Debut Authors With Indies was launched earlier this year. On the heels of this spring’s promotion, independent booksellers have chosen 22 debut titles for the fall installment, which booksellers can sign up for now.
Two committees were formed to choose the titles –– one committee was dedicated to choosing adult fiction and nonfiction titles, and the other was tasked with selecting middle grade and young adult titles.
Numerous publishers participated by submitting up to three titles written by debut authors to be released between August and December. In order to be considered, a title had to be the first published work by the author. From the more than 50 titles received, the bookseller committees chose to feature 22 books.
“Independent booksellers play a vital role in the lives of debut authors,” said Joy Dallanegra-Sanger, senior program officer, BSI, Inc. “We wanted to showcase that. Participation in this promotion is a way for indies to demonstrate how important they are in launching careers.”
The chair of the adult debut authors committee, Betsy Burton of The King’s English Bookshop, said she and the other committee members discussed what lies at the heart of their business: good books and emerging talent. The eight booksellers began by rating the books with a one, two, or three, with one being the best. They then discussed the titles via group e-mail and by phone.
“It really just seemed to pan out the way it does in life,” said Burton. “The books that brought appeal across the board made the list. The ‘ones’ reflected the idiosyncratic tastes of the booksellers involved. We chose what we liked, not for what might sell, knowing that if we feel passion for a book, we will sell it.”
Becky Quiroga Curtis of Miami’s Books & Books, who chaired the middle grade/young adult debut authors committee, said titles for this fall’s promotion were discussed by booksellers in weekly conference calls that focused on the quality of the books and their originality, while keeping in mind what would appeal to children as well as fellow booksellers and parents.
“Lots of books would be nothing without the love and support of indies, and we feel these books should be given that love and support,” Quiroga Curtis said.”When I discover a good book, all I want to do is share it with everyone I talk to. This program is a way to do that. Once all the booksellers fall in love, we can share these books with children all over the country.”
The titles picked by the indie bookseller committees for this fall’s Celebrate Debut Authors With Indies promotion are:
Adult Fiction     
  • The Cartographer of No Man’s Land, by P.S. Duffy (Liveright, W.W. Norton)
  • The President’s Hat, by Antoine Laurain (Gallic Press, Consortium)
  • The Night Guest, by Fiona McFarlane (Farrar Straus Giroux, Macmillan)
  • Burial Rites, by Hannah Kent (Little Brown, Hachette)
  • The Rosie Project, by Graeme Simsion (Simon & Schuster)
  • Monument Road, by Charlie Quimby (Torrey House Press, Consortium)
  • The Last Animal, by Abby Geni (Counterpoint, Publishers Group West)
  • The Gravity of Birds, by Tracy Guzeman (Simon & Schuster)
  • The Residue Years, by Mitchell Jackson (Bloomsbury)
  • The Lion Seeker, by Kenneth Bonert (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Adult Nonfiction             
  • Knocking On Heaven’s Door: The Path to a Better Way of Death, by Katy Butler (Simon & Schuster)
  • The Faithful Scribe, by Shahan Mufti (Other Press)
Middle Grade
  • Randi Rhodes, Ninja Detective: The Case of the Time-Capsule Bandit, by Octavia Spencer (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
  • Rooftoppers, by Katherine Rundell (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
  • Sky Jumpers, by Peggy Eddleman (Random House Books for Young Readers)
  • The Twistrose Key, by Tone Almhjell (Penguin)
Young Adult      
  • All Our Yesterdays, by Cristin Terrill (Disney)
  • Dancer, Daughter, Traitor, Spy, by Elizabeth Kiem (Soho Teen)
  • Gated, by Amy Christine Parker (Random House Books for Young Readers)
  • How to Love, by Katie Cotugno (HarperCollins)
  • If You Could Be Mine, by Sara Farizan (Algonquin Young Readers)
  • Jumped In, by Patrick Flores-Scott (Christy Ottaviano Books/Henry Holt BYR)
To qualify for this special promotion, stores must select a minimum of six titles and agree to feature the titles through in-store displays, on their e-commerce sites, and via newsletters and social media.
Electronic files to help with booksellers’ marketing efforts, including shelf-talkers, are available in the Bookseller DIY. In the coming weeks, author videos will be added to the DIY, for booksellers to share with their customers individually or as a playlist.
All ABA member bookstores, including those that did not participate in the spring promotion, can access full details of the fall offer and sign up here. The sign-up deadline is August 1.
ABA bookseller members will be able to meet many of the fall debut authors at an autographing reception in the ABA Indie Bookseller Lounge at BookExpo America on Friday, May 31, at 4:45 p.m. Watch for details in upcoming issues of Bookselling This Week.
Below is a list of the members of the bookseller committees that chose this fall’s debut titles:
Adult Committee
Betsy Burton, The King’s English Bookshop, Salt Lake City, Utah (Chair)
Sheryl Cotleur, Copperfield’s Books, Sebastopol, California
Aaron Curtis, Books & Books, Coral Gables, Florida
Sherri Gallentine, Vroman’s Bookstore, Pasadena, California
Daniel Goldin, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Joan Grenier, The Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, Massachusetts
Mark LaFramboise, Politics and Prose Bookstore, Washington, D.C.
Jenn Northington, WORD, Brooklyn, New York
Children’s Committee
Becky Quiroga Curtis, Books & Books, Coral Gables, Florida (Chair)
Ellen Scott, The Bookworm of Omaha, Omaha, Nebraska
Christopher Rose, Andover Booktore, Andover, Massachusetts
Kyle Warren, Boulder Book Store, Boulder, Colorado
Lauren Pew, Changing Hands Bookstore, Tempe, Arizona
- See more at: http://www.bookweb.org/news/titles-announced-signup-opens-fall-celebrate-debut-authors-promotion#sthash.b7JYxLGj.dpuf

Titles Announced, Signup Opens for Fall Celebrate Debut Authors Promotion

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version
The relationship between booksellers and emerging authors is markedly symbiotic. While booksellers are always looking for new talent to fill their stores’ shelves, authors in the early stages of their careers hope to find someone who will enjoy –– and sell –– their books. To highlight this vital bond, Celebrate Debut Authors With Indies was launched earlier this year. On the heels of this spring’s promotion, independent booksellers have chosen 22 debut titles for the fall installment, which booksellers can sign up for now.
Two committees were formed to choose the titles –– one committee was dedicated to choosing adult fiction and nonfiction titles, and the other was tasked with selecting middle grade and young adult titles.
Numerous publishers participated by submitting up to three titles written by debut authors to be released between August and December. In order to be considered, a title had to be the first published work by the author. From the more than 50 titles received, the bookseller committees chose to feature 22 books.
“Independent booksellers play a vital role in the lives of debut authors,” said Joy Dallanegra-Sanger, senior program officer, BSI, Inc. “We wanted to showcase that. Participation in this promotion is a way for indies to demonstrate how important they are in launching careers.”
The chair of the adult debut authors committee, Betsy Burton of The King’s English Bookshop, said she and the other committee members discussed what lies at the heart of their business: good books and emerging talent. The eight booksellers began by rating the books with a one, two, or three, with one being the best. They then discussed the titles via group e-mail and by phone.
“It really just seemed to pan out the way it does in life,” said Burton. “The books that brought appeal across the board made the list. The ‘ones’ reflected the idiosyncratic tastes of the booksellers involved. We chose what we liked, not for what might sell, knowing that if we feel passion for a book, we will sell it.”
Becky Quiroga Curtis of Miami’s Books & Books, who chaired the middle grade/young adult debut authors committee, said titles for this fall’s promotion were discussed by booksellers in weekly conference calls that focused on the quality of the books and their originality, while keeping in mind what would appeal to children as well as fellow booksellers and parents.
“Lots of books would be nothing without the love and support of indies, and we feel these books should be given that love and support,” Quiroga Curtis said.”When I discover a good book, all I want to do is share it with everyone I talk to. This program is a way to do that. Once all the booksellers fall in love, we can share these books with children all over the country.”
The titles picked by the indie bookseller committees for this fall’s Celebrate Debut Authors With Indies promotion are:
Adult Fiction     
  • The Cartographer of No Man’s Land, by P.S. Duffy (Liveright, W.W. Norton)
  • The President’s Hat, by Antoine Laurain (Gallic Press, Consortium)
  • The Night Guest, by Fiona McFarlane (Farrar Straus Giroux, Macmillan)
  • Burial Rites, by Hannah Kent (Little Brown, Hachette)
  • The Rosie Project, by Graeme Simsion (Simon & Schuster)
  • Monument Road, by Charlie Quimby (Torrey House Press, Consortium)
  • The Last Animal, by Abby Geni (Counterpoint, Publishers Group West)
  • The Gravity of Birds, by Tracy Guzeman (Simon & Schuster)
  • The Residue Years, by Mitchell Jackson (Bloomsbury)
  • The Lion Seeker, by Kenneth Bonert (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Adult Nonfiction             
  • Knocking On Heaven’s Door: The Path to a Better Way of Death, by Katy Butler (Simon & Schuster)
  • The Faithful Scribe, by Shahan Mufti (Other Press)
Middle Grade
  • Randi Rhodes, Ninja Detective: The Case of the Time-Capsule Bandit, by Octavia Spencer (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
  • Rooftoppers, by Katherine Rundell (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
  • Sky Jumpers, by Peggy Eddleman (Random House Books for Young Readers)
  • The Twistrose Key, by Tone Almhjell (Penguin)
Young Adult      
  • All Our Yesterdays, by Cristin Terrill (Disney)
  • Dancer, Daughter, Traitor, Spy, by Elizabeth Kiem (Soho Teen)
  • Gated, by Amy Christine Parker (Random House Books for Young Readers)
  • How to Love, by Katie Cotugno (HarperCollins)
  • If You Could Be Mine, by Sara Farizan (Algonquin Young Readers)
  • Jumped In, by Patrick Flores-Scott (Christy Ottaviano Books/Henry Holt BYR)
To qualify for this special promotion, stores must select a minimum of six titles and agree to feature the titles through in-store displays, on their e-commerce sites, and via newsletters and social media.
Electronic files to help with booksellers’ marketing efforts, including shelf-talkers, are available in the Bookseller DIY. In the coming weeks, author videos will be added to the DIY, for booksellers to share with their customers individually or as a playlist.
All ABA member bookstores, including those that did not participate in the spring promotion, can access full details of the fall offer and sign up here. The sign-up deadline is August 1.
ABA bookseller members will be able to meet many of the fall debut authors at an autographing reception in the ABA Indie Bookseller Lounge at BookExpo America on Friday, May 31, at 4:45 p.m. Watch for details in upcoming issues of Bookselling This Week.
Below is a list of the members of the bookseller committees that chose this fall’s debut titles:
Adult Committee
Betsy Burton, The King’s English Bookshop, Salt Lake City, Utah (Chair)
Sheryl Cotleur, Copperfield’s Books, Sebastopol, California
Aaron Curtis, Books & Books, Coral Gables, Florida
Sherri Gallentine, Vroman’s Bookstore, Pasadena, California
Daniel Goldin, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Joan Grenier, The Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, Massachusetts
Mark LaFramboise, Politics and Prose Bookstore, Washington, D.C.
Jenn Northington, WORD, Brooklyn, New York
Children’s Committee
Becky Quiroga Curtis, Books & Books, Coral Gables, Florida (Chair)
Ellen Scott, The Bookworm of Omaha, Omaha, Nebraska
Christopher Rose, Andover Booktore, Andover, Massachusetts
Kyle Warren, Boulder Book Store, Boulder, Colorado
Lauren Pew, Changing Hands Bookstore, Tempe, Arizona
- See more at: http://www.bookweb.org/news/titles-announced-signup-opens-fall-celebrate-debut-authors-promotion#sthash.b7JYxLGj.dpuf

Monday, July 22, 2013

LDStorymakers Conference~ Crafting Endearing Characters with Jensen and Jensen

Krista and Marion (not married!) were quite the funny pair as they taught how to create protagonists we want to win, villains we love to the, and secondary characters we couldn't live without.







Krista handed out the best, fastest most helpful character bio. Ever.
Here are a few of ideas for developing in depth characters:
Name
Age
Fears
Habits
Appearance
Secrets
Strengths
Flaws
Obstacles
Why will the leader like this character?

I thinking writing down this kind of information for your characters is helpful. It's also good to have it close by while you write.


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

DARK UNWINDING by Sharon Cameron

A spine-tingling tale of steampunk and spies, intrigue and heart-racing romance!

When Katharine Tulman's inheritance is called into question by the rumor that her eccentric uncle is squandering away the family fortune, she is sent to his estate to have him committed to an asylum. But instead of a lunatic, Katharine discovers a genius inventor with his own set of rules, who employs a village of nine hundred people rescued from the workhouses of London.

Katharine is now torn between protecting her own inheritance and preserving the peculiar community she grows to care for deeply. And her choices are made even more complicated by a handsome apprentice, a secretive student, and fears for her own sanity.

As the mysteries of the estate begin to unravel, it is clear that not only is her uncle's world at stake, but also the state of England as Katharine knows it. With twists and turns at every corner, this heart-racing adventure will captivate readers with its intrigue, thrills, and romance.


Rating: PG 13
V: Some tense scenes
S: No
L: No

 Thrills, chills and suspense all in one story. 
Katharine is raised in an abusive home by her aunt, who sends her away to check on an odd uncle. The aunt claims the uncle is insane and wasting all of her poor, fat boys inheritance. When Katharine arrives, she finds secrets, imagination and possibly love. And a whole village of people who help her uncle with his inventions plus keep him safe.
I like the way Ms. Cameron weaves her story. Her words are eloquent and insightful. I also loved the individual characters. Katharine had a great character arc as did many of the characters. 
This book is in my top ten fav reads of 2012.


Liked:
Katharine
Lane
The cover

Disliked:
The ending

4 1/2 STARS

Monday, July 15, 2013

Book to movie?

So many of us of lament the book-to-movie shortcomings. Not only do we go to the movies in the hopes of a good flick, part of us want see our favorite parts of the book on the big screen.

There aren't too many times, if any, that we say, "The movie was better than the book." So far, the only book I've heard that sentiment about is THE PRINCESS DIARIES. Have you felt that way about a book or movie?

There are a few movies I'm looking forward to seeing this summer. One of them is ENDER'S GAME. I loved the book. I'm anxious to see how it translates to the screen. My reading imagination wasn't quite as big as what I'm seeing the trailer. Have you read this book? What did you think of it? 

Have you seen the trailer yet? Here it is:






Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Writers on Wednesday ~ Leslie Muir Lytle

Today we have Leslie in the spotlight! She's funny and sassy and full of tales.

Enjoy her interview:

Is there one book or author who changed your life/viewpoint/writing?
 They're usually forbidden books, right? When I was 11, my librarian slipped me a book from the no-students-allowed section. It was called Diary of  a Frantic Kid Sister. The same year, that woman got my first poem published in a Spokane magazine and from then on, there was no doubt that I would always be a writer.

Give us your elevator pitch. 
My current project is a romantic suspense where Stephanie Plum meets Jason Bourne. It's going to be a fast but bumpy ride, and a drastic step away from the Scottish and Regency romances I usually write.

What’s your favorite snack?
The new blue Toblerone!

What is your most memorable high school experience? 
Madrigals. We were the 80's version of Glee, but with no interfering gym teacher. My partner was thee most gorgeous kid in school. Every girl hated me/wished they were me. You can't bottle that, baby.

What was the first book that turned you into a reader? 
Patricia McKillip's Riddle Master of Hed. Followed closely by Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern.

Are you a night owl or early bird? 
Whoo me? I write until about 3 am, then sleep until 11. Hey, it's only 8 hours, so don't hate on me.

What is your favorite meal? 
Sunday dinner cooked by my mother. She's been gone almost 9 years and I can still taste her rolls. Actually, about 30% of my body is made up of her rolls.

What do you never leave home without? 
When I go to events, or out of town for any reason, I take along my grandmother's ring and something of my mother's--once I took her fake boobs. I feel like I'm taking them along for a good time--the women, not the boobs. They would have loved that. They were pretty funny women.

Do you have any pets? 
We used to have a golden/lab mix named Gryffindor.

What is one piece of advice you would give aspiring writers?
Write your brains out. Write any wild way you want to and there will be people who think you are brilliant. Write for them. Don't worry about being perfect. Don't worry about sounding intelligent. All that will come, but it will come a lot faster the more you write.

What are you goals for 2013?
 I'm hoping to get five more books written this year. All different kinds. All clean reads. You can go to my website to see what's come out lately. www.llmuir.weebly.com  You can follow me on Twitter @LLMuir or Facebook at L.L. Muir

Monday, July 8, 2013

Summer Book Trek July 2013

I've jumped on board a summer reading challenge. Over on LDS Fiction blog, Ms. Karlene has thrown down the gauntlet to read books from LDS authors. I'm suppose to make a list I want to read but alas! I don't have a summer list as of yet. I'm reading whatever comes across my kindle (I have a ton on netgalley I'm catching up on) or through my door (I have a ton at the library I'm trying to catch up on). So far I've read two LDS author books this month:

SONGS OF WILLOW FROST
TRANSPARENT by Natalie Whipple

Wait! I do have a pile by my bed::

The Great and Terrible series by Chris Stewart
The Man from Shenandoah
Heart of the Ocean
Guardians
Invaluable by Holly J. Wood
Code Word by Traci Abramson

I'll have reviews for these this summer...



LDStorymakers Conference ~ Focused Pratice~ Howard Tayler

Howard Tayler taught a master class which showed how to practice so that our writing weaknesses can become our strenghts.
Howard gave us a ton of useful sprints to help whatever ails a writer or just to get your writing gears moving.
He suggests doing a 15 minute sprint every time you start to write.

These are the other sprints he taught us:

10 minute prompt in first person limited (an alien or ghost trying to communicate through the phone)
Outline practice ~ take a movie and write an outline as quickly as you can
Dialogue practice~ write only dialogue and convey who and what the story is about
Editing practice ~ edit into 140 words
(Most of the sprints were fifteen to twenty minutes)

Very important! Do a once-a-year self-evaluation. Every year, take 5 minutes to evaluate what you do well and what you do poorly. Then do a sprint for something you need to work on. I need to work on internalization. So Howard suggested a twenty sprint where all I focus on is emotions and physical reactions.

What do you do well in your writing?
What do you need to work on?


Monday, July 1, 2013

LDStorymakers Conference ~ Scene & Sequel with Josi Kilpack



SCENE:
Fast paced, action is taking place
Goal-Conflict-Disaster

GOALEvery scene the goal should be stated, internally or externally
Goal is what the POV character wants, what's important to them
CONFLICT
Someone or something gets int he way of the goal.
Involves someone or something
NOT internal
Creates character and reader tension
DISASTER
Logical but unanticipated
Bittersweet success OR outright failure OR partial failure
Character is left further from his goals

Transition is a simple device showing the reader that a change in time, place, or POV has occurred. This leads to a new scene.
I.E. "The following Sunday..."

SEQUEL:
Slower paced
Off-stage
Recovering from disaster
Shows characterization
Allows character and reader to catch their breath
Reaction-Thought-Decision-Action

REACTION
Not entirely rational
Reflexive (like wiping away a tear)
Can be shown through discussion

THOUGHT
Reviews what happened
Shows why what has happened is important
Considers options to move forward
Shows characterization

DECISION
Specific
Short term
Goal oriented
Clearly state new direction to reader
Shows characterization

ACTION
Usually launches to next scene
Moving in new direction
Can be combined with goal
Statement of new scene
Shows characterization


MAXIMIZE scene & sequel
  • Shift POV during conflict, after a disaster or during thought
  • Less people in scene equals more focus on goal
  • Use reaction, thought and decision to weave back story
  • Know what your characters are thinking even if your readers don't
  • Shorten sequels and lengthen for faster pace.