Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Road Trip Wednesday

This week's YA Highway Road Trip Topic:
Best Book of November

I had yet another incredible listening month (more on that next week). Lots of great books, but my personal favorite was GRAVE MERCY by, Robin LaFevers.

Saved from a potentially brutal marriage by a convent.
Taught the skills to serve god.
The god of death, that is.

As I've said many times before, I love Historical, so it didn't surprise me that I loved this book.

What did surprise me was how much I loved it. Ismae (the protag) is kickass strong and empowered. And she doesn't become a simpering fool just because she starts to have feelings for a man.

It reminded me of The Mist of Avalon series (the King Arthur tale told from the womens' perspective) in that it's about the blending of old religions of Britain with Christianity, but with added themes of justice and atonement.

What about you? Read this one? What was your favorite this month?

Monday, November 26, 2012

Debut Author Challenge #12

I'm finished but not done with this challenge.

I've hit and will exceed the twelve book challenge, and I plan to write about all of them.

Number Twelve is INCARNATE by, Jodi Meadows. I got this one from Audible.

In a world where one million souls have been reborn for thousands of years, one girl is new. And she wants to know why.

This had a strong traditional Fantasy feel to it, which surprised me (in a good way) as I was expecting more of a futuristic Fantasy. As I said, it was a good surprise, and the book also left enough unanswered questions and new possibilities to have me looking forward to the next one.

What about you? Read this one? Any other debuts to recommend?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Road Trip Wednesday

This Week's YA Highway Road Trip Topic:
With Thanksgiving on the horizon we want to know how you balance hectic times like the holidays with your writing schedule.

The honest answer for this one is that I don't...not very well, anyway.

This year, I'm working hard (today, as a matter of fact) to be at a stopping point before the chaos hits.

In the past, I've set my laptop up with a semi-permanent home at the kitchen table, always on, with a stack of Christmas CDs beside it so I can plop down in my spare moments and get some writing done.

The results aren't necessarily sub par in quality, but they definitely lack in quantity.

What about you? Holiday madness or just gladness?

Happy Turkey Day, Everyone!!!!!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Debut Author Challenge #11-Dystopian and Women's Rights

My Debut Author Challenge #11 came from the library.

It's ARTICLE 5 by, Kristen Simmons

In a country fallen apart, the Bill of Rights has been revoked. Instead there are Moral Statutes.

Ember's mother has been arrested for the crime of having a daughter out of wedlock, and those who are arrested are never seen again. Ember has become a ward of the government. Can she escape and find her mom?


This is one of a handful of Dystopians I've read lately where loss of Human Rights, especially women's rights, is the focus.

As a mom of a daughter, especially, this possibility is daunting. Women have come a long way in the last one hundred years. We still have a way to go...women still don't receive equal pay (overall or w/in fields), are all too often victims of rape and domestic violence, and still do almost all of the housework and child caretaking even in households where they earn more money than the man...but I hate to think of any turmoil we could face in the future that would take away what hard-earned progress we have made.

I think appreciating where we've come from as females is part of why I love reading Historical Fiction so much. I see that the oppression of women in a possible future is realistic, and that it would be a beneficial theme for young readers, but it's hard for me...I find it hugely depressing and scary.

What about you? Read this one? Noticed this loss of women's rights trend in Dystopian? Any other debuts to recommend?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Road Trip Wednesday- If you're going through hell, keep going.

This week's YA Highway Road Trip topic: Tons of writers are in the midst of NaNoWriMo, trying to stay inspired as we reach the dreaded middle. Share your most inspiring and/or motivational video, book, or quote on writing!

Congrats to those doing are all braver than I.

If my post title quote (from Winstin Churchill) fits where you are right now then let it inspire.

For specific writing inspiration, I'm going to turn to one of my favorite authors, Ray Bradbury.

First, a perfect quote for NaNo:

Don't think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It's self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can't try to do things. You simply must do things.
Ray Bradbury

Then, what I believe promotes writing productivity most for me:

Love. Fall in love and stay in love. Write only what you love, and love what you write. The key word is love. You have to get up in the morning and write something you love, something to live for.
Ray Bradbury

Finally, for all of us, during NaNo and year round, the following will always fit:

You fail only if you stop writing.
Ray Bradbury

What about you? What inspires you most as a writer?

Monday, November 12, 2012

Debut Author Challenge #9 and #10

First off, I'm so excited because this year I'm actually going over twelve books for the Debut Author Challenge. Woo! Woo! My library system, sparse at the beginning of the year, came through with four debut audiobooks here toward the end, and I plan to post about all of them.

Next, I'm putting off my How Many Have You Read contest until December. Things have just been so crazy this last month, and I need a little time to catch up. The good news is, I'll combine all my fabulous October and November listens/reads, so I'm sure everyone will have read something to enter the contest with.

For Debut Author Challenge #9 and #10, I have two Merpeople books:
OF POSEIDON, by Anna Banks
LIES BENEATH, by Anne Greenwood Brown.

I got both from Audible.

Of Poseidon, about a girl who can communicate with sea life but has no fins, goes into the mythical history more.

Lies Beneath, with an interesting male protagonist, focuses more on the dark side, merpeople as predators.

Both very different. Both worth reading.

What about you? Read either of these? Like merpeople books? Any other debuts to recommend?

Friday, November 9, 2012

Are You a Doer or a Talker?

I worked for many years in Early Childhood. As a mother, I will still sometimes ask parents of young children, "Is he/she a talker or a doer?" (aka: a charmer or one who would rather beg forgiveness than ask permission)

While shopping yesterday, I lost my concentration several times while listening to an action-packed story. This is when it dawned on me that when it comes to reading and writing, I'm a talker not a doer. I'd rather read/write dialogue than action scenes.

Like most children, I can do both, but I lean toward talking.

What about you? Are you a doer or a talker? As a writer? In life?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Road Trip Wednesday- Best of October

This Week's YA Highway Road Trip Topic is: What was the best book you read in October?

I had a wonderful listening month in October (more on that next Monday for my How Many Have You Read/Heard contest).

My favorite, hands down, was EVERY DAY, by my writing hero, David Levithan.

The problem is, I already posted about my undying love for this book (and David Levithan) HERE.

Next favorite? Already posted about it (WHAT'S LEFT OF ME, by Kat Zhang) HERE.

My third favorite this month was PERFECTED BY GIRLS, by Alfred C. Martino. I think he's a local New Jersey author, so I'm not sure how available this book is, especially in audio.

It's a girl-doing-a-guy-sport book. Specifically, Wrestling. I loved that the author dealt with the issues of girls participating in this sport, competing with guys, in a realistic way, and that he gave voice to both sides of the issue (for and against female participation) while still ending up supporting the girls.

What about you? Read any of these? What was your October fav?