Happy Belated Easter, or Any Other Holiday You Might Have Been Celebrating!

04/25/2011 at 8:02 pm (book recommendation, Moday Check In) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

This past weekend was actually really productive for me.  Even if I didn’t get everything done that I had hoped to.  I did manage to get all the scenes that I felt needed work in my novel fixed up along with everything my critique group suggested to me.  So what that means is that as soon as I get feedback from my last test readers, I’m going to start sending out query letters!

Also, this weekend I took a small break from “Boneshaker” by Cherie Priest, the book I was reading last week, and started reading “Vixen,” by Jillian Larkin.  So far I really like it.  All the lies and tension building up between the main characters is really great.  I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes young adult historical fiction, although, I do think that this book was written for more of a female audience.

And just in case anyone was curious, just because I’m taking a small break from “Boneshaker” doesn’t mean that I don’t think that the book isn’t good.  It just means that it wasn’t what I was looking for when I started reading it.  I was looking for something a little more lighthearted with some romance.  But from what I’ve read of “Boneshaker,” it’s very well written with a really strong female protagonist.  Her son’s not too bad either.  So if you’re in the mood for steampunk, and zombies, give it a try.

Well, that and going to and Easter party was my weekend.  Did everyone else have a great weekend?

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“The Shifter”

04/11/2011 at 7:55 pm (book recommendation) (, , , , , , , , , )

“The Shifter”

By Janice Hardy


I know I’m not getting this up on Friday like I said I would, but I kind of got too busy on Friday to do really any blogging.  I had to head up to Sacramento to visit my sister for one of our last long runs before the marathon we entered, so I really didn’t get much done then.  But here’s my book recommendation for last week.

It’s been a little while since I’ve read “the Shifter,” but I loved the voice and personality of Nya, the main character.  Even when she’s faced with tough decisions her quirky personality shines through.  Plus all the other characters in this book have their own unique personalities as well that help keep the book moving along.

The setting of this book is very exotic, and very easy to picture.  The other thing that I found really neat was Nya’s unique magical ability of being able to shift pain from one person to another person.  It is because of this ability that Nya is thrust into dangerous and morally questionable situations, and it also because of this ability and her quick wits that she is able to get herself out of those situations, only to find herself worse off from where she started.

The basic plot of this book is that Nya’s sister, Tali is training to be a healer at the Healer’s Guild (something Nya can never do, since she can’t put pain into a of strange kind of rock that healers deposit it into after healing someone; all she can do is shift it into another person).  While at the Healer’s Guild Tali goes missing, along with many other healers, so Nya has to try and find her.  What makes the situation harder is the fact that her strange magical ability has attracted the attention of the Healer’s Guild and the Pain Merchants, which are the two most powerful groups in the city.  With healers going missing, that’s not the sort of attention that she wants to have.

There’s a lot more to it making Nya’s situation more urgent than just that, but I don’t want to give too much away.  If you want to find out more you’ll just have to read it.

The ending of this book I felt was fairly strong, even though it was a first book in a series, and when I was done I eagerly was waiting for the sequel.  My biggest complaint is, when is the third book coming out?!  I would also like to note that “The Shifter” is an all right title, but Janice Hardy’s original title “The Pain Merchants” sounds much more intriguing.

Even though I’m only really supposed to be recommending a book because of its interior content, I have to admit I would have totally bought this book for it’s awesome cover as well.  I love it!  But that’s a post for my illustrator blog when I finally get that up.

To wrap this post up, I’d give “The Shifter” five out of five stars.  I loved the plot, the characters, and the setting.  I can’t wait to read the next book in the series!

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03/30/2011 at 1:39 am (Writing) (, , , , )

I’m sure if you’ve stumbled across my new blog, that you have read some sort of book at some point that had totally blown you away, and made you go “gee, I want to write like that!”

Maybe that book had some stellar characters like in Patricia Wrede’s “Mairelon the Magician,” or maybe that book had developed a world that you could completely see yourself living in like Harry Potter, or maybe the book was just a fantastic read in every sense of the word, like in Elizabeth Bunce’s “Starcrossed,” (granted, both “Mairelon the Magician” and Harry Potter are fantastic reads in every sense of the word too) it doesn’t matter though, what matters is that you were inspired to write!

I’ve read tons of great books through out my life, and some of them I’ve even read obsessively over and over again.  But if I had to name one author that inspired me to write, that author would have to be Tamora Pierce.  It was after reading her “Lioness Quartet” and “Wild Magic” series’ that I wanted to try and create a world of my own.

Granted, when I first started writing stories I just did it to pass the time and entertain myself.  I never imagined that I’d someday be taking writing as seriously as I do my drawing.  But now that I do, I’m thankful for all the books that took me to far off lands, on adventures, and I know that the experiences are what are helping to inspire me to write today.

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