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Monday, September 24, 2012

Book Review: Not Your Average Fairy Tale

I've decided that I want to do periodic book reviews on here. I have belonged to many book clubs in my day. At one point I even ran two different book clubs simultaneously. I haven't really found a book club where I'm currently living so I have decided to occasionally review a book or two on here. My debut book review is for my friend Chantele's book, "Not Your Average Fairy Tale" which just came out on August 1.

Here is the blurb for this book: Armed with wings and a blue wand, being a fairy godmother should be easy ... unless your name is Ash, and you're a dude.

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. 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. A.K.A. 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, Kendall doesn't want anything to do with him. And worst of all, she doesn't believe in happy endings.
I really enjoyed this book a lot. I generally do not enjoy books that switch character points of view but Chantele did a great job with it in this book and it added a lot to the tension. I liked both Ash and Kendall enough to care about each of them on their own and together which made me like knowing both of their thoughts.  The pacing was nice -- I never found myself getting bored. The romance was believable and engaging. I liked that the teenagers acted like teens and not like little adults. There were twists and turns throughout. It is clean enough that I would let my nearly 10-year-old daughter read this too.
I also have a little bit of a crush on Ash.
You can pick up her book at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Extreme Makeover: WIP Edition

This week we got some news that is drastically changing the plans we had for the next year and a half of our lives. My husband is in the Army we were supposed to be moving to Kansas for a year for some schooling. We just found out that will not be happening. That is all we are sure of right now. We don't know yet when we will be moving or where we will be moving. We just know that in the next six months we are moving somewhere. Fun, right? (Also - I said "moving" a lot in the last few sentences) I am a planner. I need details. I need to research schools, neighborhoods, military base info, housing, etc. Where is the nearest Costco? All the important details.

When I get hit with something completely out of my control (like the Army saying "too bad - so sad") I like to take COMPLETE control of the things where I can determine the outcome. When I have a house large enough that I can actually re-arrange furniture, that is what I will always do. My current house doesn't have any options for change. This has made me take a look at my WIP. I am super focused on changes. I am changing character behaviors drastically for at least one character. I am debating changing from past tense first person to present tense first person. I'm not sure it is working though. Even when narrating to myself in my head I tend to think in past tense. Oh, that is one of my quirks I have not mentioned here; I narrate my life in my head. As in "she said with a laugh" or "I quickly walked to the door." Like, all the time. I even punctuate sentences in my head as I speak or others speak to me. Anyway, I am trying to take control of my WIP and my life.

What about you? Do life changes make you change other things in your life? Do you have any odd quirks? Do you have a preference between past tense or present tense first person?

P.S. I just finished a book yesterday that I did not enjoy much. The characters were annoying - the female especially was a complete pushover and weak overall. One thing that bugged me a lot though - on one page the character rushes through breakfast and on the very next page it says he is weak from not eating for days. Say what? I am so nervous I will make mistakes like that and it terrifies me.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Carrie Butler's Cover Reveal for Strength!

Today I am honored to be able to help Carrie Butler reveal the cover for her New Adult paranormal romance, Strength. Carrie is a pioneer in the New Adult field, has mad graphic skills, and has an amazing blog (or two or three). I am looking forward to reading this book.
I do want to share a part of her e-mail that she sent with the cover information because it made me laugh: "P.S. As you can see, the cover features a muscular man (to convey strength). If this makes you uncomfortable,..." The reason this made me laugh is that I am getting to put a picture of a shirtless, muscular man on my blog without fear of being sued. Hello! Yes, please.
Cover Designer: Carrie Butler

Cover Photographer: Yuri Arcurs

Title: Strength
Series: Mark of Nexus – Book 1
Publisher: Sapphire Star Publishing   
Category: New Adult (NA)
Genre: Paranormal Romance (PNR)
Release Date: March 07, 2013
When college student Rena Collins finds herself nose-to-chest with the campus outcast, her rumor-laced notions are shattered. Handsome, considerate, and seemingly sane, Wallace Blake doesn’t look like he spends his nights alone, screaming and banging on the walls of his dorm room. Hell, he doesn’t look like he spends his nights alone, period.

Too curious for her own good, Rena vows to uncover the truth behind Wallace’s madman reputation—and how two seconds of contact had left her with bruises. Of course, there are a few minor setbacks along the way: guilt, admiration, feelings of the warm and fuzzy variety…

Not to mention the unwanted attention of Wallace's powerful, supernaturally-gifted family.

They’re a bloodline divided by opposing ideals, two soon-to-be warring factions that live in secret among us. When Rena ends up caught in their crossfire, Wallace has no choice but to save her by using his powers. Now they’re really in trouble. With war on the horizon and Rena’s life in the balance, he needs to put some distance between them. But Rena won’t let go. If fighting is what it takes to prove her own strength and keep Wallace in her life, then that’s what she’ll do—even if it means risking a whole lot more than her heart.
Where to find Carrie:
Where to find Strength:
Book Trailer:


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

This or That

I have been super sick and in bed for the last week. This is good for me in that I got a lot of work done on my computer. The bad thing is my house looks like a tornado hit and I wasted a lot of time on my computer. I also think I slept more in the last week than I have in the last six months combined.

Anyway, I was reading agent Michelle Wolfson's blog where she discussed an argument she and her husband had over a certain phrase. In this case it was "you've got another think coming" vs "you've got another thing coming." I have to admit, I have never in my life heard or read "you have another think coming." It has always been thing to me. It will probably remain thing for me. Although the arguments for think make sense it is still to hard for me to wrap my head around. It also looks like there is a pretty even split as to which term people use.

This got me thinking about terms, phrases, words, etc. that may be different based on region or that people just don't understand. I have compiled a few of my favorites and I will share them with you right now (don't you feel lucky?).

This one actually caused a debate in my family not too long ago. I have moved many times and all over the country because of my husband being in the Army. I have heard things different ways in different areas. I was trying to tell my brother about a house across town on the opposite corner and I said either caddy or kitty corner (I can't remember which I said) and he and my sister-in-law both said it was the other one (the one I didn't say). I had heard it both ways so I agreed but then I went home and did some research. It turns out this one is highly regional, with both being acceptable. However, what I found is that it originates from the French "quatre" which means four. So you are basically saying on the opposite of the four corners. Americans, not totally familiar with the French language (although seemingly fluent in French fries and French kissing), shortened it to a sound that they were more familiar with: caddy. In different regions they changed it to kitty. Interesting, no?

Quick: soda or pop? This is so regional. Since I move around so much I eliminate any confusion by just saying soda pop or coke or carbonated beverage.

I had a roommate who seriously asked on day, "Is it incognito, one word, or are you IN cognito?" This one makes me laugh still but there is obviously only one correct answer to this question. It is always one word.

One of my biggest pet peeves in the English language is when people do not understand this simple phrase: "I could not/couldn't care less." It is not "I could care less." To say you could care less means that you really do care and you therefore could care less than you actually do. So I guess if you do care and want to say that you could be persuaded to care less than it would work. Generally though people mean that they care as little as humanly possible about a subject and could not care any less. Learn this one, people!

Something I just discovered recently that totally shocked me: I KNOW I was taught to spell a certain word as d-i-l-e-m-n-a. I have spelled it that way my whole life. Then I tried to type it the other day and found that my autocorrect changed it to d-i-l-e-m-m-a. What the hell? I am a bit of a stickler in my spelling and I know I would not have spelled it incorrectly if I had been taught the proper spelling. I Googled this one and found that many people have had the same problem even though there is not, and never has been, a documented source stating dilemna is the proper spelling. Apparently there were just a bunch of rogue teachers through history who decided to create a bunch of snooty people going around arrogantly correcting people even though they were the ones who were actually wrong. This has been quite a dilemma for me as I try to unlearn 25 years of incorrect usage.

What about you? Do you have any phrases that throw you off? How do you adjust for that in a manuscript?