Teaser Tuesday (Nov-4)

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Should Be Reading. Share the title and author, so others can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences.

BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS!!!

Stealing the Preacher by Karen Witemeyer

“God’s timing might not be our timing, but it is always perfect.”

“The best we can do is ensure our hearts are right, our motives pure, and then listen for God’s guidance, praying that he will correct our path if we veer off course.”

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Meeting Kelley Armstrong: Part Four

A few weeks back my local library was having Kelley Armstrong come in to talk about her new books, do a Q&A session, and sign a lot of books! I took notes (nerd that I am) and have created this six part series in order to share what I learned with you.

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After reading a bit from one of her books, KA opened the floor up for questions. She brought “bribes” of books and tote bags to hand out so we would ask questions, but I don’t think she needed to worry because nearly everyone had a question! There were still more to be asked even after all the so-called bribes were handed out…one of which I got!

The first person asked about what sort of education a writer would need. To which KA answered “Nothing”. You should take a course for a job you will enjoy working while you try to get published, and once you’re published she recommends taking classes for fun. KA has a background in psychology, which helps her when writing her characters, but she has also taken marketing, fencing, aikido, bartending (“because you never know when one of your characters will need to know how to mix drinks!”) and plans to take a course on the history of crime.

KA’s advice to writers is to just write. “If you want to write, write. Most of us can find time to write a little every day… two pages, one page. Be constantly writing something, don’t wait until you feel ready to write.” She mentioned a lot of people tell her they want to write a book, but when she questions them about it they are still in the planning stages and had been for a good ten years! That is when she started talking about NaNoWriMo, and how great it is for all writers –both the wannabes and already established.

One person wanted to know if KA writes each book one after the other or has to write some at the same time, and if so how does KA keep her stories straight? She said she was ahead of schedule so she never has to write two different books at once (though no mention of prior), though she will be editing one book while writing another. She is lucky in that she always gets to write her first draft from start to finish without worrying about another book. It would be “hard to get back into the headspace” if she had to alternate or switch from one to another based on when the books are due at the publishers by.

This was followed by an inquiry of what to do when you get writer’s block. KA started with saying she was going to give us Melissa Marr’s answer told a while back. KA thought it was a much better answer and decided that she could use it from then on since Melissa already put it out there.

When Melissa Marr gets writers block she will fill up her bathtub, grab a snorkel, and sink under the water. This causes sensory deprivation –no sight, sound, smell, nothing. You have no choice but to think about your book and can do so without any outside stimuli and distraction. “If anyone tries this, the snorkel is very important!”

KA will never sit down at her desk if she doesn’t have a scene worked out and ready to be written because “a blank screen is intimidating”. She will walk the dog, fold laundry, or if she’s desperate she will even wash dishes by hand. Mindless chores gives KA a feeling of accomplishment while she works out where she wants her story to go or how she wants the story to get from point A to point B but needs to work out how to do that.

The other thing that can cause writer’s block is a lack of confidence, and even KA gets like that sometimes. Like everyone else, after reading a great book, you think you can never write anything like that. But all KA needs to think about is Ernest Hemingway’s quote:  The first draft of anything is…crap (KA’s rephrasing because Hemingway did not use “crap”) and she knows she’ll be okay because no one has to see your draft until you’re ready to show it. If you end up cutting a scene because it is not fixable, chalk it up to writing practice and move on, but “you cannot fix a blank page.”

Of course this led to KA being asked who her favourite author’s are, and the main one is Stephen King. She then told an anecdote about how there wasn’t really a YA section at her library when she was growing up, just one little turning case (totally blanking on what it’s called), so KA headed straight for the adult fantasy section.

She was then asked if there were any books she read over and over again, like we all read her books repeatedly. KA said her picks were Watership Down, Pride and Prejudice, and she is now rereading Stephen King’s The Last Stand. “Even though you know what is going to happen you can enjoy the experience again, hang out with the characters again.”

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Teaser Tuesday (Nov-3)

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Should Be Reading. Share the title and author, so others can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences.

BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS!!!

Made to be Broken by Kelley Armstrong

Sure, she was smart-mouthed and resentful, but what did I expect? The kid had been raised by dust bunnies.

…he’d only laugh and tell me that, given the choice between the words of the world’s greatest fictional detective and some dead Greek philosopher, a cop was going with Mr Holmes every time.

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Meeting Kelley Armstrong: Part Three

A couple of weeks ago my local library was having Kelley Armstrong come in to talk about her new books, do a Q&A session, and sign a lot of books! I took notes (nerd that I am) and have created this six part series in order to share what I learned with you.

KAjennahNow KA has two new series started.  The Cainsville series had its first book published this past summer, Omens. It’s about Olivia, a twenty-four year old, who finds out she’s adopted and her birthparents were serial killers. This series will have a bit of the mystical, but more the portents and second-sight type of stuff rather than paranormal creatures, and is based on a Welsh myth.

When teaching a workshop, KA found out that one of her students was working on a story rooted in the same Welsh myth that Omens is based on. KA had already finished writing it and was awaiting publication, and had to tell her student about it. There is sometimes the fear between students and teachers in writing classes that someone will think the other stole their idea.

KA has attended and taught writing workshops, and one of her stories came out of one due to a lot of new writers worry about originality and not copying other authors’ ideas. She said you really don’t need to focus on that because your own voice, your plot choices, your characters, and all that you do will make your story different.

The book Four Summoner’s Tales was written by four different authors who were given the same premise: A stranger comes to town offering to raise the townsfolk’s dearly departed from the dead for a price…  but had four very different results  (description taken from Goodreads, but I’m pretty sure it was also what KA had told us today verbatim).

The other new series that is in the works is called Age of Legends. This is an epic fantasy rooted in medieval Japanese culture. Its first book is called “Sea of Shadows” and will be coming out April 2014… though one lucky reader got an advanced copy!

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Teaser Tuesday (Nov-2)

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Should Be Reading. Share the title and author, so others can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences.

BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS!!!

Exit Strategy by Kelley Armstrong

A smart gambler knows when to make a surprise play pay off.

“That was a note? I thought it was a haiku.”

“One: he’s single minded. Two: he lacks creativity. Three: He’s got a balloon ego… One prick, it deflates. “

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Book Review: The Rising by Kelley Armstrong

risingkaSynopsis: In the final book of the Darkness Rising trilogy things are getting desperate. Maya and her friends are being hunted and all they have is a name for someone who might be able to give them some answers. Maya isn’t sure she’s ready to learn the secret truths that await her, but has no choice but to face her demons. After all, no one can run forever.

Plot: The story picks up shortly after the second book ends, and then keeps your adrenaline pumping with more captures and escapes and fighting. You can’t stop reading from start to finish, because you just have to know what will happen as each plot point leads into the next.

Location: This story has some serious travel going on. The previous books had a lot of movement, but stayed on a single island. This one not only crosses provincial lines, but national one’s too. Starting in British Colombia in Canada and making their way south to Pennsylvania before heading northwards again into Ontario.

Romance: Love triangles tend to be inevitable it seems in YA novels. In this case it was so well written the “love” for two people barely overlaps, while still overlapping for the entire trilogy. Now that takes some talent!

 

Memorable Moment: It isn’t much, but this tiny portion of a scene really stood out for me. When the kids of both groups meet for the first time you expect it to be “interesting”, but it wasn’t their introduction per se that struck me. Rather it was the brief moment where werewolf and skin-walker faced off, each “protecting” their respective significant other. Their stand off/stare off may be the highlight of this novel for me.

Character: The kids from the previous trilogy, the Darkest Powers, make an appearance. I only had a vague recollection of them, and this novel reintroduces them as minor characters. They weren’t nearly as interesting as Maya and the phoenix project kids, but it isn’t the genesis project’s trilogy so that’s okay. I also loved how some characters form the Otherworld series show up, too. It makes me wish I paid more attention when reading those to have a firmer grasp of the tie-in. Had I missed mention of these two project kids in those too?

Ponderings: I heard a rumour there would be three more books to finish off this YA series. I was told it was yet to be decided if those final books would have a third project group or if they would be about combining the two groups. Seeing as the projects meet up towards the end of this book, I’d think the to-be trilogy is likely to consist of only these two groups. However, it was also being looked into how to “expand the dating pool” of these teens, so there is a chance the third group could be brought in and may fulfill that role—however inadvertently.

Quote: That’s the way it works in the world, Maya. The good guys have ideals; the bad guys have cash and firepower.

Verdict: Loved it! Finally “finished” the trilogy, and getting the resolution that would drive you crazy if you have to wait much longer for it. The characters are great, developed into real people for all that they are supernatural. I hope the final trilogy further delves into how these kids could or will fit into the supernatural realm.