Friday, September 28, 2012

Debut Author Challenge #6/Too much death?

I've been doing a lot of Debut catch up lately, thanks to a new Mp3 player...The last one fell into a pan of chicken broth as I was leaning over to feed the dog...ugh. I was so mad at myself for the waste of money that I didn't buy myself a new one for a few months.

Eventually my audiobook addiction won out (and the library's YA Playaway selection ran low), so here I am toward the end of the year with a lot of Debut posts to write.

Unraveling, by Elizabeth Norris, is a contemporary set sci-fi that felt a little supernatural to me in tone/setup.

The heroine, Janelle, is of the independent, kickass persuasion, which was probably my favorite part.

*Spoiler Alert* There did seem to be a lot of loss in this book. I won't name character names or anything, but I'm's not unrealistic for a lot of people to die in dangerous situations like the ones in this book, but there seems to be some unwritten rule that a main character should only have to lose so much...Like how Katniss lost her sister and Cinna but still had Peeta, Haymitch and Gale.
At this rate, Janelle will be all alone by the end of the series, if not before.

What about you? Read this one? Any other debuts to recommend? What do you think about the amount of loss in books? Should there be limits or does anything go?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Debut Author Challenge #5/YA Highway Bookmobile

YA Highway is having their September Bookmobile discussion and live chat with the author tonight. Here is the original post about it. 

I mention all this because their book club choice for this month, CINDER, also happens to be my fifth Debut Author Challenge book.

A sci-fi Cinderella...what's not to love?

Okay, I adore sci-fi, so maybe I should say, what's not for me to love.

Overall, I do find that some retellings are too predictable, while others veer so far into left field you can barely identify the original story in it. The thing I loved about this version is that all the crucial elements were there but with their own twists and backstories. It was predictable in unpredictable ways.

Definitely deserving of all the hype.

What about you? Read this? Any other debuts to recommend? Are you joining the discussion/author chat on YA Highway?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Road Trip Wednesday- Retellings

This Week's Topic is: In honor of this month's Bookmobile book, Marissa Meyer's CINDER, name a fable or story you'd like to see a retelling of. If you're feeling creative, come up with a premise of your own!

I do enjoy reading retellings, especially contemporary/supernatural ones, but I've never thought of writing one...okay, maybe I considered a contemporary Robin Hood for maybe three seconds.

So, as I looked over lists of fables and fairytales the only familiar one that jumped out at me as doable but not yet overdone is Hansel and Gretel.

It helps that Hansel and Gretel has sentimental attachments for me. It was my first stage production...I was one of the gingerbread children in the opera when I was twelve.  Also, I love gingerbread houses, and have a decorating party every year for the holidays.

In my YA version, two teen twins (a boy and girl) would end up at a foster home where they would learn that all the other children there have been changed somehow (maybe Stepford style) for some villainous reason, by the foster parents.

*insert villainous laugh*

Actually, the more I think on that one, the more I think it could grow wings and never know.

What about you? Any fairytale or fable you'd like to retell. Any other take on Hansel and Gretel?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Road Trip Wednesday

This week's topic: What word processing program do you use to write you manuscript, and can you share one handy trick you've learned in that program that has helped you while you write?

This week I'm way more excited to read everyone else's tips than contribute one myself.

I'm not of the computer generation. I do not touch function keys or the ctrl alt keys. I knew how to cut and paste when I started writing but didn't know about find and replace...what a relief when someone told me about that, especially for changing character names.

I'm definitely a Word girl. I've never tried a Mac.

The only thing I managed to stumbled upon along the way was how to do em-dashes, which is good because I tend to use them about as liberally as some people use exclamation points.

Just in case anyone doesn't know how to do em-dashes, if you have a word/letter then hit the dash key twice (the one to the right of zero) then write another word/letter and hit the space bar it will become an m-dash.

If you want an em-dash at the end of a line of dialogue, to indicate interruption by the next speaker, you need to put two quote marks after the two dash lines then delete the first one after the space bar is hit to leave only the quote mark that's facing the right way (on Word).

What about you? Any computer tricks of the trade to share?

Monday, September 10, 2012

Debut Author Challenge #5

My fifth Debut Author book, THE SELECTION, by Kiera Cass came from Audible:

I rarely have cover love...except for amazingly appropriate and funny covers like Beauty Queens. Still, this one did it for for me...It's just so gorgeous.
And the story lived up to it for me. A more mature Princess Academy mixed with a more YA appropriate version of The Bachelor.
The romance rules in this one, which I love to see. Yes, there are political issues and dangers, but the relationships are first. Again, yay!
What about you? Read this one? Any other debuts to recommend?

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Road Trip Wednesday- The Best Book I had to Read


This Week's Topic is: Back to school time! What's your favorite book that you had to read for a class?
It's back to school exciting and bittersweet for moms. Well, for this mom anyway. That's why I'm a little late posting.
I enjoyed the Shakespeare, Poe and Hawthorne I had to read in high school, but my absolute favorite was Cat's Cradle.
I became an instant and undying Kurt Vonnegut fan because of this book, so excited by the idea that a story could say so much in such unusual ways.
I later chose Slaughterhouse Five for my senior literary critique project, and that remains my favorite Vonnegut, but Cat's Cradle was my first, and the one I had to read.
What about you? Like Vonnegut? Favorite book you had to read?