The BIG MAIN GOALS: Publish two decent-selling book series (speculative fiction) Survive at least another 39 years 2015 Goals: Have 5000 Twitter followers ~ currently at 4547 — up 63 from last month! Update / redo what-are-they.com (Done!) Download the update for my blog theme, whatever that might entail Support Diverse …
#TackleTBR template from @TresSherm Day of the week/Date What I read today: Today’s finished books: Total number of finished books: Titles of finished books: SCHEDULE This is the schedule for the read-a-thon, including challenges and giveaways: 9/14: Kick-off with giveaways. Giveaways will include: $15 Amazon gift card (INT) Book of winner’s choice from their TBR …
The first task is to share a setting that stopped my heart. This song feels like a poem set to music, and is partly about a setting: This speaks to me because it is so vivid. I feel like I’m there, in Australia, seeing what he sees. The second task option is to share a …
July can’t be over, can it? I swear I missed a week! I took some great writing classes this month. I procured an expert to help me polish my query to perfection, and another expert to help get my first 20 pages to shine. The floggings are vital to success, so I’m grateful …
This year, my aim is to spend the challenge inspiring and teaching how to create settings that feel like characters. Why would you want to do this? Well, if you aren’t a fiction writer, you probably wouldn’t. I’m sorry about that. (This is a blog, not a big box store. I can’t always have something …
Vanilla Virus There is a commotion outside my chamber door, and I find myself armed only with a quill. I try to ignore the noise, but the pounding is knocking the books from their shelves. I’ve run low on space to dodge these heavy dangers. My back is pressed to the wall. …
A list of seven of something- brought to you on Sunday. Seven items on my Bucket List The high fantasy novel I’m working on – Finish it, publish it, and sell 2,000 copies in one week or 8,000 copies in one month. Watch a meteor shower while in the Cranberry Lake area of New …
If there’s one thing all writers agree on, it’s that writing is TOUGH. The road to publication twists and dips as we learn the craft, hone our abilities, create stories we’re passionate about, fight discouragement, educate ourselves about the industry…and then start the process all over again as we realize there’s room to improve. But you know what? If you are like me, you wouldn’t have it any other way.
Yet, sometimes it’s nice to get a helping hand.
Finding a good writing book, a helpful blog, a mentor or critique partner to share the journey with…these things are gems along the writing path.
And guess what? Maybe there’s another resource waiting just up the road called One Stop For Writers.
One Stop For Writers is not writing software, but rather a powerful online library that contains tools, unique description collections, helpful tutorials and much more, brought to you by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi, the authors of The Emotion Thesaurus and Lee Powell, the creator of Scrivener for Windows.
Could One Stop For Writers be the writing partner you’ve been searching for? Visit Writers Helping Writers this week and see, where Angela, Lee and Becca are celebrating their venture with prizes and some pay-it-forward fun.
A bookmark is not a book, in case anyone was curious why the #WNDB item was there.
As for why I lust over that cover… I have a thing for Golden Spirals (and Fibonacci spirals).
Have I read Thirteen at least twice? Look at it! It was new when I bought it (back in the early 90’s).
Just Press Play!
You may wonder why such a short book took me 3 years, 4 months, 28 days (excluding the end date) to finish. Here’s what happened…
My friend and I were going on a trip somewhere. She told me, after we were on the road, that we’d be sitting in line for two hours after we got there- not just going straight in and then coming home after. She tells me this as she’s pulling into a Wal-mart parking lot, because she needs to get a bottle of water for drinking while we’re in the line. I ask her to get me a book and a water, and handed her a $5. After we got where we were going, the “two hour line” ended up being only a five minute line. My friend shoved my book and our waters into her purse. It was another year before I got the book back. Then it got lost. I found it when I reorginzed my bookshelves, but still didn’t crack it open. For the record, I read the whole book in a matter of a few hours.
This book has insight into the kind of mystery, and news, stories that newspapers print. The tale told in the book, the one of the Colorado Kid, is not one of them. This book is more of a make-you-think-and-wonder than it is a straightforward crime novel. The cover, though a beautiful piece of artwork, may be misleading because the book takes place in 2005.
’tis intentionally bad piece be full ‘o humorous nautical nonsense. th’ target audience be adults who seek a hoot and hollar ‘n some mild adventure in an erotic tale. It be lewd, crude, ‘n hardyharhar in that campy obscure kind ‘o way. ’tis tale has several curse words that gunna gift some readers a chuckle. Read ’tis fer #TalkLikeAPirateDay matey.
Here be what ye need to be knowin’ ’bout ’tis book. yarr, just a pair excerpts be tellin’ it all:
There’s a social commentary hidden somewhere in these pages. It must be there, for I conclude that subtext is why the book is so popular. Kelsea has become even vainer in this book than in the first. So much so that her magic has interpreted beauty to be the one true desire of her heart, thus makes her thin and pretty. It does have a purpose, as beauty ends up being the key to everything. Kelsea also suffers from the mental health issue of self-harm known as cutting. It turns out that this self-abuse was actually a path to power, that it was how she learned to heal. As such, encouragement for cutting is implied. Kelsea, once she’s beautiful, uses a friend for sexual purposes- a friend who she doesn’t have romantic feelings for, and who she believes is in a relationship with someone else. Rather than feeling guilty for turning her friend into a cheater (the friend is not in much of a position to say no to the queen), she feels relieved at the idea that he probably won’t develop feelings for her. This is an interesting insight into the mind of a mistress. It’s interesting that someone who is so opposed to slavery would wield her position of power in this manner. I certainly agree that she does not need a man to be whole, and does not need to marry a King or anyone else to cement herself. However, the idea that she’d rather manipulate someone into her bed instead of finding someone who actually wants her is disheartening. (She’s the QUEEN. Not one single guy in the kingdom that might willingly offer her company? There’s a whole area dedicated to prostitution— at least one of those guys would have traded a no-strings night for a few coins. Instead, she makes a loyal man become disloyal.) Kelsea, as a main character, I’d only give 2 stars.
All that being said, there’s another story that’s woven in to the book. Lily, and her story, is exceptional. If just that portion were made into a novella, it would be worth it. There is exemplary writing in those snippets. The Lily story I would give 5 stars to in a heartbeat.
In the final Kelsea chapter, the book hits a small climax of sorts. Much like in the first book, there isn’t an actual ending. The first book was just an introduction and a bit of rising action. This book is more rising action. SPOILER ALERT! As one reads about the possible army coming, then about the army coming, then sees it coming, one expects a battle. There’s a point where it’s clear that there aren’t enough pages left for a battle. That’s because there isn’t one. But no, nothing is resolved. One character laughs, one cries, and the army does nothing. END SPOILER. Apparently, there’s going to be another book.
Do NOT try to read this book without the first one- you’ll have no idea who anyone is. And don’t try reading the ending first, because the ending is part of Lily’s story, not Kelsea’s, so it won’t make any sense.
Day of the week/Date: Day 3 Sept 16 Monday
What I read today: The Richest Man in Babylon — Six Laws of Wealth
Today’s finished books: The Richest Man in Babylon — Six Laws of Wealth
Total number of finished books: 2
Titles of finished books: Sam’s Story, The Richest Man in Babylon — Six Laws of Wealth
This book is very short. It makes quick and clear points. These are the same six simple ideas that every financial book, seminar, and class offers. This is a retelling of an ancient parable. If a person reads this short book (a pamphlet by today’s standards- originally carved in stone), and then lives by these principles, that person would be on the path to having more money.
Day of the week/Date: Day 2 Sept 15 Monday
What I read today: Sam’s Story, The Invasion of the Tearling
Today’s finished books: Sam’s Story
Total number of finished books: 1
Titles of finished books: Sam’s Story
This short story mystery is the perfect read for anyone wondering if they’d enjoy this author; as well as for those of us who already adore her. It’s interesting, engaging, and hard to put down. I plowed through these wonderful words in under an hour. The con artist doesn’t really want the job. The mark is a sympathetic character written in a well-rounded way. There’s a beautiful twist at the end. The story even comes with a mini love triangle. And, once again, Summer has proven that vocabulary mastery does not detract from engagement in a story.
This feels like a debut author novel. There are many pages of long blocks of text. Different scenes are told from different points of view. This is a publishing anomaly that breaks many “rules” agents, editors, and respected writing sites and books have taught as the standard for this era in publishing. Including spelling a color in the British way (grey) rather than the American way (gray), which is a generally frowned upon inconsistency.
One fact is established as certain— this is a utopia gone wrong. Tolerance is dead. (No rainbow flags here. Though pedophiles and rapist are commonplace. I cannot, in good conscience, call any story where rape is a shoulder-shrugging crime a feminist book.) There’s an upper class 1%, near upper class, and the starving poor majority class in Tearling.
The book makes mention of the Tale of King Author, one character comparing the main character, Queen Kelsea, to him. There’s also a Robin Hood-like character, except he doesn’t give to the poor, but he’s loved by the poor for making the rich suffer.
What I liked best about the main character, Kelsea, is her appreciation for books. She offers some diversity in that she is plain looking and overweight (which is brought up several times, especially in chapter nine). Skin shades were also mentioned a few times, mostly in that dark skin was rare in this world.
It is fantasy in that there is a character with dark magical ability and another character with magical objects.
I was very impressed with the rich vocabulary that Harper publishing permitted the book to use. There was a whole host of words rarely seen printed in fiction nowadays.(My favorite among these being the word bulwark, which I was told needed to be defined, as adult readers would not know it.)
The climax felt reminiscent of Breaking Dawn (Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight saga) in that the main character finally reaches the eluded-to powerful self, but the battle fizzles. If tension is about “how can this main character defeat that enemy,” there’s a disappointment here. It does, however, “sell the next book,” in that now the story is developed. It feels less like the first book in a series and more like an origin story that has to read, or got out of the way, in order to get to the action.
Despite that, the book leaves a great deal of background questions. The biggest being where The Tearling (and other countries) actually are located. It seems to take place in a future where most technology and advancements have been lost— some intentionally. A ship of medical supplies and personal sank in the waters of a vast ocean on the way from America. Is this book building off of the movie Waterworld? The nearest answer is a quote of “God’s great plan in raising the New World out of the sea.”
The main religion is a mix of Catholic, Protestant, and preservation of the species. Another religion is mentioned (Lutheran, I would guess). Kelsea has little interest in religion, and it’s hinted that this will be an issue in the next book. Readers who are easily upset by atheist may be offended by this work of fiction. Also note that there are adult situations and language in this story. It does not feel like a YA novel, though it does seem to be marketed to that age group.
I’ve given it 4 stars, though 3 1/2 would be more accurate. I do intend to buy the next book. I went through all this and now expect the next book to reward me with the action and climatic events I crave.
On a personal note: I regret buying the paperback version. The paper and binding feel flimsy. I suggest getting the hardcover or the ebook version if you are purchasing it.
This blog review is more extensive than the ones I posted on Amazon, Goodreads, and 50 Book Pledge.
Have you read this book? Are you planning to read it, or the second one (The Invasion of the Tearling)?
If there’s one thing all writers agree on, it’s that writing is TOUGH. The road to publication twists and dips as we learn the craft, hone our abilities, create stories we’re passionate about, fight discouragement, educate ourselves about the industry…and then start the process all over again as we realize there’s room to improve. But […]
#TackleTBR template from @TresSherm. Progress made, but not finished: Total number of finished books: 6 Titles of finished books: Sam’s Story, The Richest Man in Babylon — Six Laws of Wealth, The Invasion of the Tearling, Pirate Dave and his Randy Adventures, The Colorado Kid , Ignorance, Thy Name Is Bucky: A Get Fuzzy Collection […]