Sunday, July 31, 2011

Shadowcry aka Wintercraft

I REALLY enjoyed this book. Go get it somehow and read it now. A MUST READ!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Reading Like a Writer - Francine Prose

an the love of language be taught? Can a gift for storytelling be taught? These are questions posed at the beginning of Reading Like a Writer. Francine Prose admits that you can be taught the technical aspects of writing. The real writing which would be the storytelling is learned, for most writers, by example and examples it what this book is about.

The chapters are thus:
  • Close Reading
  • Words
  • Sentences
  • Paragraphs
  • Narration
  • Character
  • Dialogue
  • Details
  • Gesture
  • Leaning from Chekhov
  • Reading for Courage
Francine Prose weaves her teaching abilities within the examples. Many of which I enjoyed and wished they would go on, but that is left for you to explore later. The examples she chooses shows you why word choice, the sentence, the paragraph, the dialog, etc makes these elements of some writers great and if something was changed about them, they may fall flat.  The chapter on Dialogue was interesting in that she pointed things that were being said, but many times the story is being told in what is not being said.

This is a very good book where I have learned that the constructs of writing need to be looked at more closely while reading. In a story that may seem dull to some in plot may come alive with the aspect of simple word choices! Notice that Ms. Prose did not cover plot or setting.  I find that interesting since these are the main things that I usually first think about when entering a book. She knows that rules will be broken and many times to a brilliant outcome and also stated that in her opinions on things fluctuate all the time. Highly recommended.

This book can be purchased at bookstores, online and is available in ebook form in popular formats.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Book Thoughts: Violet Fury by Richard Denney

ethany is a typical 14 year old teenager, right? Well at least she seemed to think so until very recently. She has resorted to stay awake pills since falling asleep has been bringing her nightmares and these nightmares have been linear - meaning that the next nightmare is a continuation of the previous one. Strange things start happening to her during her waking hours also. Things get so out of control that she womps on a another girl at school - naturally she deserved it, but Bethany just doesn't act like this. Strange things are going on with schoolmates and a special boy in her dreams just may be more real than she would have expected. This has been happening since she and her mom moved to Crest View which, it seems, has a mysterious past and Bethany's family has been part of it. Her mother has been keeping secrets from her.

In this novella Mr. Denney has put together an intriguing start to what I hope will be continued. There are a lot of events that occur which get us - and Bethany - to the point where we are going to find what is going on with her and the town. But you will have to wait to see what that is!

You will enjoy this story. I know I did.  Mr. Denney how about part 2??

As of this writing you can download an unedited eBook version of this novella for free at Goodreads.
Violet Fury

Richard Denney:

Book Thoughts: Burn Bright by Marianne de Pierres

rave is a place of repression and rules. You are born into an occupation like it or not. Then there is a walled enclave within Grave called The Seal. The Seal is even more repressive than Grave. The women here must wear veils, people can listen to only approved music, only information you need to know is learned. If you or someone in your family breaks the rules your whole family can be punished, monitored, and shamed. On occasion invitations fall from the sky aimed at young people inviting them to a place where they can be free. Joel took them up on their offer and sneaked out of The Seal on the designated night. With Joel now having escaped, this left his sister Retra and her family shamed and monitored. The fear from the Warden is that Retra may try the same thing. A device is fitted to her thigh that causes extreme pain if she ventures outside the Seal walls. Retra is determined to find her brother no matter what it takes. Thus begins her story.

Ixion is the place of freedom. An island where it is always, mysteriously, night. A place of clubs, dancing, drugs, and since this is a young adult book - a lot of fooling around. The young people soon find out that is it not of course without its rules too. Other important buildings are the churches which are old relics of ancient inhabitants that are considered a place of rest. There are lighted paths that connect the clubs and churches. Never stray from the paths. This is a primary rule. Listen well, baby bats. Burn bright, but do not stray from the paths. Remember, when you live in a place of darkness you also live with creatures of the dark.

Retra arrives here to find her brother where most of the others are here to party. The Ripers or Guardians who inhabit and control the island sense this in her and she becomes ironically, monitored. As the story progresses things are not all fun and parties. After you reach a certain age, the party is over and what happens to those is a mystery. There are power struggles going on within the Guardians, a pirate named Ruzalia, a rogue gang called The League, and of course the creatures of the dark.

This book for me was fantastic. I read most of it within 5 hours since I could not put it down. It's hard to believe so much was crammed into 306 pages, but it was connected and very well written. The book at this time is only available in Australia so I paid the extra shipping to the USA. It was well worth it.

Burn Bright is book one of  The Night Creatures.

I purchased this book from Booktopia an online bookseller in Australia.

See Marianne de Pierres blog for information about this series and links to support the book being published in the USA.

Thanks to Krista at TheCubicleBlindness for reviewing and promoting this book!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Incidental Musings: The Fluctuating Intentional Reading List

Yep you read the title correctly. Of course as a computer developer/analyst/whatever-my-company-calls-me now, I have to have an acronym which would be FIRL!
  • Fluctuating - With all the new books constantly streaming across my visual spectrum and some even aural, I have to allow the list to be fluid.
  • Intentional - I needed a way to describe a priority or a way to separate a select few out of my entire library. So I intend to read these books sooner rather than later.
  • Reading - This covers not only visual reading but audio books as well.
  • List - I could write these within my mind but my memory is feeble. So something more permanent is in order.
Now I have a large and ever growing library of physical books and eBooks. I only have a few audio books at the moment, but this may be added to in the near future. I have several bookshelves which I love to peruse and I frequently refer to my eBook software's Books folder. Anxiety soon sets in as I think about how I want to read all these books but the decision as to which to read next is daunting. More anxiety sets in when I think about all the genres and series books. So I need to make an attempt at some organization and direction.

You can view the list here: FIRL

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Book Thoughts: Vampires Rule by K.C. Blake

ack died 10 years ago, well sort of. The victim of a vicious werewolf attack and, near death, was found by a vampire who I guess you could say "saved" his life by turning him into a vampire. Vampires Rule has a great cast of paranormals -  vampires, werewolves, a soul-sucker, and a dash of fairy. On the human side we have kick-ass "hunters" who hunt the vampires and werewolves and a few everyday normal people.

The story revolves around prophecies from a diary that was written by a fairy named Lovely many years ago. The head werewolf - the first werewolf - is the primary target of the action in the book. Jack shares the main character role with a girl named Silver Reign. When we first meet her she is wearing a fuzzy pink sweater and appears to be a typical teenager. Very soon we find out that is not the case. She is a hunter and a werewolf soul-sucker. A werewolf attack is the first action scene in the book and is where Silver and Jack meet. They are both attacked and the result of this first encounter is that Jack is made into a human again - with a twist. Jack retains his vampire powers and gains some new powers. Naturally Jack and Silver fall in love. It was predicted by the prophecies along with the path these two will follow.

I really enjoyed this first book in a The Rule series. The romance between Silver and Jack was written well and yes, I did get choked up once in a scene towards the end of the book - I am such a wuss!  The book has a lot of action which is balanced with character development. This is a book where you will care what happens to the characters - even main antagonist. I highly recommend this book!

The next book in the series is Werewolves Rule which I am looking forward to.

I won this book as a giveaway from the blog: CubicleBlindness.  Thanks Krista!

K.C. Blake's blog:

You can purchase this book in popular eBook forms from Smashwords, Amazon and Barnes & Noble.