Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Book Review The Healing Crystal "Heir to Power"

This book was huge, but I loved every page.

When it first arrived in the mail, my mom was visiting and picked it up. She scanned the back, asked me about it and when I told her I got it to read and do a blog review of it she nodded her head and put it down. Then she picked it back up and started reading. I haven't seen my mom read a book before. Sure magazines, kids books to me when I was little, medical journals. (She's a nurse recently retired) and maybe it's because I haven't really been home to see her reading, but she started one night at my house, stayed up late reading it and was about 1/4 the way through by the time she had to head back home. She asked if she could borrow the book and bring it back since she'd be coming back for Thanksgiving.

I was pretty busy with NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month)so I told her, "Sure. Take it home, but make sure you bring it back because I have to read it for the blog book tour." SHE LOVED IT! I kept asking her about it and she said things like it's interesting, it's good, it's fascinating. She never told me what happened, letting me discover it for myself but the fact she read it and didn't put it down after she began told me it was something good. She's even checked out the second book in the series on Amazon.

Now to tell you what I thought of it. It was great. It starts out interesting from the very beginning. The story is about a sixteen-year-old girl who is the next in line to lead a small colony called the Survinees. She will be the one to hold an ancient religious artifact called the Healing Crystal. She is also destined to marry a handsome guy who has been training to be the support he needs to be to her leadership. But... She starts to have feelings for someone else.
This book has so much going on in it that you'd almost be confused if I told you all about it, but as you read it, it is so clear and easy to follow. But let me try to sum it up.

Kairma is next in line to lead the colony, but since she had a childhood illness that left her looking like the race of almost albino looking men, the people in her colony almost fear her. She's nervous about what's expected of her, her younger sister Kinter wants to be the one in line for the power. Kairma is supposed to marry Naturi when she comes of age within the year, and he's willing, but then she starts to have feelings for a guy who happens to be her big brothers best friend.

Meanwhile, a traveling archaeologist from the outside world discovers their colony and is almost put to death since no one in the outside world is allowed to know the secret of their colony (The Healing Crystal), but the matriarch (Kairma's grandma) decides not to kill him, but hopes he'll bring his woman back to help increase the numbers of the colony since disease and infertility have wiped out the colony and they don't want to have inbreeding going on.

Some of the people go to the outer civilization and see what they've been missing in the hundreds of years since their colony has hidden themselves while those in the colony discover a hidden vault in the mountain near a monument with four faces carved into the mountain. (Yeah, that place) In this vault are things that you would recognize, but the Survinees don't know what it is and as they try to interpret what they find you begin as a reader to piece together what might have happened.

It's considered a science fiction book, but it reminded me of old west meets lost tribe that has remained unchanged over the centuries. It's science fiction because it takes you to the future but makes it feel like you've gone back in time or to an alternate universe.

Though they try to keep their life the same it has been for so long, the outer world can't be stopped from influencing their colony.

I like the last sentence of the blurb on the back of the book: "A battle is raging between insider and outsider and Kairma holds the power to bring peace, but is she strong enough to save the world she loves?"

Kairma is a great Main Character and I really liked how Michele Poague developed her. The interactions between characters are great. The story line is creative and complicated in just the right amounts. I really can't wait to read the next one in this series.

It's a wonderful read and I highly recommend it.

The link to buy it on Amazon is HERE

Michele Poague's website is HERE

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A book review. Faithful Fit, and Fabulous

A book review of Faithful Fit, and Fabulous by Connie E. Sokol

I saw this book on the authors blog a couple months ago and loved the title. I wanted it right away so when I had the chance to get a copy of it to do a review I jumped at the chance.

The thing that surprised me was that instead of it being a fix all right away kind of book, it flat out tells you not to try to do it all at once. I had a little bit of a hard time with that since I want answers, and results right away. (I just had a baby a few months ago and am still waiting for those last stubborn pounds to disappear) I know I know, I need to do the work and exercise to get it off, but I still want immediate results. But after reading this book, I think I have a better chance at success in weight loss, managing my life, fitness, motherhood and so many other things than if I tried to change things immediately.

Connie Sokol basically gives us 8 chapters of ideas to correspond to a particular issue or challenge or even developing particular habits. She recommends you read only one chapter a week so as to not overwhelm yourself by trying to jump right in and then burn out. I of course read the whole thing over the space of a couple days while holding a baby more often than not. The ideas in there are simple, yet sound. I've applied a couple, found I was already doing something similar to what she suggested, or thought my way of doing something worked just fine and that I didn't really need to change it since it worked.

She doesn't promise ridiculous results. She tells you what she did. How it worked for her, (or not) and what she wished she would have done differently. It's like learning how to do something along with someone who has been there, done that, but is willing to let you still do it your way.

I don't normally read self help books, but I really enjoyed this one. I liked the thoughts and quotes she used from respected religious leaders. I liked how she had it broken up into manageable chapters and sections so I can easily go back to the one I want to focus on at any particular time. By doing the things one by one, and adding the next one when I'm ready for it I'll be much better off than just wishing things were different for me.

This would be a good book to check out if you are interested in making some changes in your life. And by the slow and steady adage you will be more likely to find success than all the New Years Resolutions you can remember making over the years.

To find her website go HERE

To order her book go HERE

Friday, November 18, 2011

Author Interview with V. Lucien Maier

I've been having fun with this blog and getting to know books and their authors. I've also run across different ways of publishing than the main stream of big publishing houses. V. Lucien Maier is a writer friend of mine who does things differently. Currently he has a Christmas story out that he produces as an audio book. By donating to the Charity or organization he picks the story for, you get a code to hear his story and see artwork that goes with it.

Go HERE to see three different Christmas stories and donate to a worthy cause.

ME: What makes you stand out as an author/storyteller?
V.Lucien Maier: Not sure that I am much different. But I do try to push the way we envision publishing. I have two things that are my main goals with my work. One is like most authors which is to get my experiences out so other may benefit from it.
And the second is to show that the old methods of publishing are not the only choices anymore. I love all my fans, but the best fan mail I get is from other writers saying that I opened their mind to other ways to get their messages and stories out.

ME: This is the first time I’ve been exposed to storytelling like this. It’s fun and different. Why do you do your stories this way?
V.Lucien Maier: There many many benefits from working this way that I would be hard pressed to list them all. But mostly its the freedom. I have been in the paper world and if you want to be successful YOU WILL have to change parts of your stories. You will be forced into corners, and you will be underpaid. (At very least to start with, but most author throughout their entire career.)
I write and publish what I want and when I want.
Let me give an example, I have a good friend that is a Best Selling author, more than ten times over. But when he submitted a mystery to his publishing house they said no. Now this is bad enough for a author of his caliber but to insult it even worse because he is under contract he can't take the novel anywhere else....
And the most important reason. When I started writing I really had one big issue. If my silly little stories were ever really successful it would take a lot of trees to get them out there. with this method I don't have to harm any trees. I wrote a piece about it.
The Price of our Aspirations

ME: The one I watched was about Zion’s National Park. What types of organizations have you supported through your stories?
V.Lucien Maier: Well Christmas with Wet Fur is the newest and for Zion National Park .
I also have Woof which is done for the Utah Animal Adoption Center
and Lights out done for the Tooele Children s Justice Center. They are all on
and of course I have a novel on my site "OF The Wolf" (for free) and a ton of free stories and poems on my site My other three novels The In The Blood series which I was most well known for have been taken down for now.

ME: Where do you get your ideas from?
V.Lucien Maier: Everything. I strongly believe that if you go to one well for your ideas you will always write the same story. I do love to take a very tired and used genre and breath a new concept into it. In fact when you open your mind you will never run out of ideas, and you like me will not be plagued by what do I write, but what do I write today???? I wrote a piece on that too.
Idle Pursuits:

ME: Can your stories be listened to over and over?
V.Lucien Maier: If you can stand my voice... sure :D

ME: Who does the reading? How about the artwork? Is the format the same for each of your stories?
V.Lucien Maier: In the past I did it all, but as I keep going I have tried to expand into using others. I use friends to do voices in "Wet Fur" I wrote the story with Wendy's vocie in my head saying it. So when I convinced her to do the narration for me it worked out perfect. I try to use artists that have not been discovered so I can help with their exposure. But I do a project at a time so I can constantly work with new people. Feel free to contact me if you have a skill and want to be involved.
As for the format. I like to use audio, but for my free stories I use youtube. and for my novels they are just mp3 so you can throw em on your ipod or phone and listen everywhere. and For the charity stories I do it through a Flash so i can have a payment gateway to collect the moneys for the causes.

ME: What would you like new fans to know about you?

V.Lucien Maier: Nothing! I am hermit Get OFF MY LAWN! hahah
Because my first big outing was "In The Blood" a vampire series iT sure stirred a pot of very interesting fans. That first year or two I was sent some very.... strange questions. So I have shied away from my fans much more than I was before. However, over the years as my other more main line stories have taken hold I really enjoy talking to my fans.
I think fans are a double edged sword, they make you feel warm and fuzzy but it can also feel like they are taking a can opener to your head to try to figure out whats going on in there.
and believe me, no one should be digging around in there. (Talk about scary!)

Thanks for the interview
V. Lucien Maier

His website is HERE

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

An Author Interview with C. K. Bryant

I had a chance to do an interview with Author C. K. Bryant. Author of Bound. To see my review of her book either explore my blog and check out the previous post, OR GO HERE. You can also click on the little button to the side about Dark C.A.R.M.A. Check it out.

Me: How do you pick the names for the characters in your book?

C.K. Bryant: It's so cliche, but this story started as a very vivid dream. Lydia and Octavion were in the dream, as was Toran, so their names came easily. As for Kira, her character was my friend, Kris, in the dream. I let her pick the name and I really liked it. As for Altaria, well. Here's a little trivia for my fans out there. Her original name was Alvataria, but I had so many people say it was too hard to pronounce, including the publisher I originally had a contract with. So I shortened it to Altaria. Even though I lost the contract, I kept that version of her name. I think it suits her. Shandira was a version of Shandra, a good friend of mine. She so wanted to be the antagonist in my book, so I added the "i" and a villain was born. Unfortunately, she passed away before getting to read it. The other names I found through searches online. Names have to resonate with me. They have to truly fit the character's personality.

Me: Do you draw on real life experiences you’ve had and incorporate them into your story?

C.K. Bryant: Sometimes. I think it depends on the situation. For the most part I draw on my crazy imagination. You'd be amazed at the places my warped mind has been.

Me: Have you ever made yourself cry or laugh out loud as you’ve read your work, or while in the process of writing it? How about uncontrolled giggling?

C.K. Bryant: Absolutely! If my writing doesn't move me when I create it, how can I hope to move my target audience. I like to call it my ZONE. It's when I have no idea what's going on around me and I'm totally into what's happening in my book. I think the scene I laughed the hardest was when Kira was shooting her bow. I love that scene. I giggled when she lost her apple. And I totally cried my eyes out at the end when Octavion . . . OOPS! I guess I shouldn't give that part away.

Me: What is the hardest part about coming up with a story line?

C.K. Bryant: Nothing. Seriously. I have so many ideas in my head that I have a hard time settling on one. The hardest part for me is getting the creative half of my brain to shut down at night so I can sleep. I keep a notebook by my bed so I can jot things down if my muse wakes me in the middle of the night. She's pretty insistent on getting her way.

Me: What is your favorite fruit?

C.K. Bryant: ROFL!! Great question. And totally caught me off guard. Hmmm. Let me think. I love all kinds of fruit, but I think I'd have to pick the apple as my favorite. I love sliced apples dipped in caramel. Also like apple pie and apple sauce and . . . you get the idea. Oh great, now I'm hungry.

Me: What is the most painful experience you’ve had as an author? Massive paper cuts from opening a pack of printer paper? Printers that have fallen off the desk and onto your toes? Writers cramp in all fingers except the pinky as you’ve torn through a story?

C.K. Bryant: So you're talking physical pain, not emotional? I guess it would have to be when I participated in a writing marathon with some writing buddies of mine. We were supposed to write from noon to midnight (12 hours) and the plan was to take scheduled breaks every so often. But I was stupid and pushed through so I'd get more done. About 8:00pm my back was on fire. I tried everything. I ended up having to take a 30 minute power nap and put ice on my back along with pillows to brace me up when I got back to writing. I made it to midnight, but barely. Took me a couple days to recover from that one. But I had fun and got a lot of writing done.

Me: What is something you’d like future readers to know about you?

C.K. Bryant: Ha! I have a whole list of things I DON'T want them to know about me.

Let's see. I guess it would have to be that I'm very approachable. I never want to be one of those authors who let their success go to their head and refuses to mingle with their fans. I love making friends and can't wait to meet new people who have enjoyed reading my books.

Hey, thanks for letting me hang out on your blog today. I've had a blast answering your questions and getting to know you better.


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A Book Review of BOUND

This book is fun! I had a chance to read this book early to give a review of it and here it goes.
BOUND by C.K. Bryant

Here is what the book has to say about itself.
BOUND (#1 in THE CRYSTOR Series)
by C.K. Bryant

YA Paranormal Romance

When a photo shoot ends in tragedy, Kira discovers her best friend, Lydia, has been keeping a secret. Knowing the truth, and accepting it, will change Kira’s life forever and thrust her into a world of ancient curses, magical objects, and savage enemies. What happens next will challenge everything Kira knows about her world, herself and the shape-shifting warrior she’s falling in love with. No longer the timid mouse her mother accused her of being, but a woman who finds the mental and physical strength to endure and survive.

BOUND is a heroic tale of true friendship, infinite sacrifice and untamed love.

Here is what I have to say about it.

Kira is a normal girl with a best friend who turns out to be something not quite normal in this world. She discovers her friend Lydia is a Royal from another world. Her stepbrother is here with her, and they are trying to fit in and live a normal life away from their older sister who wants them dead. Though they try to fit in, they just can't do it. The brother is a shape-shifter who craves human flesh since he is part animal. He has found himself a cave in the mountains to live in while watching over his sister through magical means. When the older sister sends her scouts to find Lydia things really get going. Kira gets dragged into the fight as Lydia shifts to protect herself and the truth comes out. She gets really involved when the only way to save Lydia's life is to be bound to her through magic. Kira discovers she's able to heal people, and herself with the help of the Crystor. Though the healing causes her pain, and her death is possible, Kira still does it to help her friend. Once she's bound to them, she can't get away from the situation.
Though older brother/bodyguard tries to stay away from Kira to keep her safe, he is still drawn to her. She learns about his secret, and accepts it, but is strong enough to call him on it when he crosses the line.

The fight scenes, the danger, the intrigue, the romance, and the secrets are all placed so perfectly it keeps you turning page after page to find out what happens next.

I really enjoyed it. It was new and refreshing. A clean romance with just the right amount of steam.

I would totally recommend this book to people who like Stephanie Myers Twilight books, and even to those who don't. C.K.Bryant has the talent to take something far fetched like space travel, magic, shapeshifting, healing, and telepathy seem real and believable.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. I'm really looking forward to the sequel. Can't wait.

Go HERE to find information about the giveaways on the blog.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


What is that you ask?

NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month. For the month of November, thousands of writers sit before their laptop, or desktop or whatever and write write write. The goal is to reach 50,000 words starting on November 1st at 12 am and make it to the goal by Nov 30 by 11:59. To do this, they are supposed to write at least 1,667 words per day.

I got an email since I signed up for them through the NaNoWriMo website and this is some advice given.

1. Don't edit.
2. Do everything you absolutely can to make the minimum words, 1,667, for each day. Falling behind makes this task seem so much more daunting when you realize you're 5,000 words behind.
3. Don't try to force your imagination to bend (completely) to your will. Sometimes your story will go off in a completely different direction; don't worry about it. The entire thing will come together in the end.
4. Don't edit.
5. If you're halfway through and realize you just killed your main character don't panic. Pick minor character that you've grown attached to and run with them.
6. Don't edit.
7. Even if you decide to start over don't delete the words you already have. Add a few enter spaces and just keep going.
8. There is no such thing as the perfect novel and it definitely won't be what you wrote in 30 days. It's called a 'rough draft' for a reason. Just remember you can't edit the draft that doesn't exist.
9. Don't edit.
10. Seriously, don't edit.

I've just gotten off a long edit of my most recent manuscript, and so it has been a little difficult to not go back through and edit what I just wrote. I know the whole goal of writing that many words a day will mean alot of those words are just ready to be cut and are really embarrassing showing that I don't have any writing skills at all. But that is what a rough draft is for.

Once you get the story out onto the screen you can go back and fix it all later.
So here is to a fun and enjoyable month of writing, (or as my husband might say... "here's to a month where nothing else gets done")

But I sure am having fun already. I've only been at it for one day and I already have 3,724 words. With many more to come.

Hope you all have a great month, and if you are nano-ing, let me know how you like it.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A book review of Dark Threats

This is a fun and entertaining book. It's a collection of short stories told from the perspective of a vampire child who lived through them. Scott Bryan has made up a fun history and incorporated different stories, myths and legends as well as some history into his book. Annabelle Foresight is a vampire child who has lived for more than three hundred years. During that time she has fought against witches, other vampires including the brides of Dracula, werewolves, zombies, the Invisible Man, and Mr. Hyde.

You can get it as an ebook, or order a paper copy if you prefer. Both are found on Amazon.

It's a fun story for Halloween, but it isn't just a once a year kind of book. It has lots of fun stuff to it, while hinting at bigger things and other experiences Annabelle and her brother Roland have had. Those stories are found in a full length novel called Dark Birth.

You can find out more about this book, the follow up books, and the author, and his blog HERE.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Gonna Gush

I have to say that having beta readers is the best thing ever. Having a critique group to go over your work and tell you what they like and what needs to be fixed is so very very very important. See in the case of the previous sentence, a good critique partner would say, "You don't need that many very's you could do with just one, or better yet, use a stronger word like extremely".

That my friends is what I'm talking about. I've had a handful of people (Writers) who have read my recently finished manuscript, and while they did give me encouraging feedback on what they liked, they also pointed out things that I could work on improving.

I highly recommend you get yourself some readers if you are writing. I love mine. Thank you so much.


Thursday, October 13, 2011


Welcome to the October Blog Hop, where you can visit new blogs, enter to win prizes, and have a great time!

At the bottom of this post, you'll see a list of participating blogs. Just click on each link, check out the prize, and follow the easy instructions to enter. You can enter on each blog, so it's possible to win multiple times. It's frighteningly easy.

On this blog, you can win ...
A signed copy of Night Children: DARK THREATS by Scott Bryan. Find his blog HERE or find him as a participant on the blog hop below.

To enter, all you need to do is:

1. Be or become a follower of my blog.

2. Leave a comment on this post and tell me why you'd like to win this prize. If your e-mail address isn't visible through your Blogger profile, please also leave it with the comment so I can notify you if you win. You can enter until midnight MST on Saturday night, October 15th.

That's it! You are now entered. Now please go visit all my friends on the list below. It's almost like trick or treating!
October Blog Hop Participants
1. Tristi Pinkston
2. I Am a Reader, Not a Writer
3. Bonnie Harris
4. Michael D. Young
5. Misty Moncur
6. Debbie Davis
7. Mandi Tucker Slack
8. Mary Ann Dennis
9. Deanna Henderson
10. Laura Bastian
11. Kristy Tate
12. Kristy Wilson
13. Jennifer Debenham
14. Jenny Moore
15. Elizabeth Hughes
16. J. Lloyd Morgan
17. Close Encounters with the Night Kind
18. Billy Boulden
19. Scott Bryan
20. Maria Hoagland
21. Shirley Bahlmann
22. Shelly Brown
23. Marcy Howes
24. Lynnea Mortensen
25. Jaclyn M. Hawkes
26. Diane Stringam Tolley
27. Gail Zuniga
28. Betsy Love
29. iWriteNetwork
30. Canda's InkBlast
31. Stacy Coles

Learn more about October Blog Hop here.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Book Review. INSIGHT, Beholders book 1

A Book review of

Well, here it is. The book review you've been waiting for.  I've posted a couple of times about this book, one was where it was the prize for my September Blog Hop.  Another was a post for you to have a chance to win a Nook by entering the contest on his blog.  So now I'm going to tell you my thoughts about this book.

First off, the cover...  I have to say when I first saw it, I hated it. I didn't like the expression on the guys face. It looked too unhappy, stressed, irritable, and downright miserable.  Then when I started reading the book and learned of the predicament the young man found himself in, I could totally understand the expression on his face.  Not that he feels that way all the time, but since he is forced to leave his family and his fiancee in order to keep them safe from the threat he becomes to them when his ability to wield the long lost True Sight comes out, the cover now works for me.

The story is about a young man whose family had to leave their home in a rush five years earlier without being able to say goodbye to family or friends for a reason Lon and his twin sister Mellai never knew. It turns out, Lon is a Beholder, or a person who can use the power of True Sight, (a power where he can see the elements and manipulate them)  The Rayders have been searching for a Beholder for centuries because they want to use his power to overthrow the King and the kingdom of Appernysia. The history behind the Rayders is interesting, but brutal. They are a very ruthless society, relying on exact obedience, and will kill without a second thought.

When Lon decides the only way he can learn about this newfound power of his, which is killing him every time it manifests, is to join the Rayders, we get to learn about the Rayders, and the terrible choices Lon will have to make. Should he stay with them and help them with their cause, or return to his fiancee and family?

I liked this book a lot, and enjoyed the world and magic Terron James created. I found myself really liking the characters and rooting for them. Terron did a nice job making me really know the characters enough that I actually felt sad for them, or angry with a particular choice, or happy if they got what they wanted. I did feel there were too many times the background information was just given to us in conversation between Lon and his dad Or Lon and another character. Sometimes those conversations dragged.  Also, there were places where I really wished I could have experienced with the character, instead of having it summarized with the characters conversations.

Terron's style of writing reminded me of the Wheel of Time series by the late Robert Jordan.  There were times when he broke away from one character to go to the others.  This is a series, though I don't know how many books are planned for it, but he ended the story in a good spot, and made me want more right away.

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes High Fantasy, or a clean romance, or even just a few hours in a faraway world.

Go to his website to order the book.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Book review. The Key of Kilenya


I had the opportunity to receive a free copy of The Key of Kilenya to review for Andrea Pearson on her online book tour. Though the book was free, it did not effect this review.
The following is a summary of what the book is about.

When two vicious wolves chase fourteen-year-old Jacob Clark down a path from our world into another, his life is forever changed. He has no idea they have been sent by the Lorkon—evil, immortal beings who are jealous of powers he doesn’t know he possesses—powers they desire to control.

The inhabitants of the new world desperately need Jacob's help in recovering a magical key that was stolen by the Lorkon and is somehow linked to him. If he helps them, his life will be at risk. But if he chooses not to help them, both our world and theirs will be in danger. The Lorkon will stop at nothing to unleash the power of the key—and Jacob's special abilities.

So here are my thoughts about the book:

I have to admit that I didn't relate to the main character of the book very well, but that's probably because he was a 14 yr old boy, and I'm a 30 something mother, but he was still a likeable kid. He seemed a little too obsessed with the basketball tryouts that he missed when he finds himself transported to another world through some kind of passageway hidden in the forest near his home.  I would have expected him to be too amazed at the idea of being in a new world for him to obsess about things back at home. There were also lots of times when something he said or did, didn't really seem like it would be coming from a 14 yr old, but again, I'm more than twice his age and can't really remember that far back. ;)

The book has lots of action and wonderful magical elements in it. The descriptions are fun and I could totally see what he was experiencing. My favorite part was when he had to travel through a dark tunnel by feel since using any light revealed people trapped in the actual stone of the mountain they had to pass through.

There is a lot of back story to this book that was delivered in a clever way through a journal Jacob had to read, (and I loved how the journal only showed one page at a time and wouldn't reveal more until you'd read the words shown to you first, making it impossible to skip ahead.) I did find myself wanting to read the journal myself and not worry about what Jacob was doing. But then Jacob would get into a predicament and I'd get caught up with his story again.

This is the beginning of a series and so there are many questions brought up that are left unanswered, which irritates and interests me at the same time.  The parents and adults in this story seemed slightly shady to me. They wanted Jacob and his new friend Akeno to do something huge and important, but didn't give them much information. It's like they felt it would be better for them to stumble across things themselves. And a few times, magical things solved a problem that arose without giving me a real sense that it needed to happen other than to get them out of the predicament. Maybe in the following books, we'll learn how the magic works better since Jacob and Akeno didn't know and we were experiencing things with them.

Overall, it was an interesting book, and I would recommend it for kids who could relate to Jacob. My ten yr old and 8 yr old enjoyed the beginning that we've started reading together and we'll see how it goes with them.

To purchase her book go HERE, it's free for a bit.

To learn more about Andrea and her series go HERE

Monday, October 3, 2011

My friend is giving away something cool!

I'm in the process of reading a book called Insight by Terron James.

 It is pretty good. It was the prize I gave away for the September Blog hop and now I'm reading it to be able to review it. However, since Terron is a friend of mine, and I'm following his blog and hoping to help him promote his book, I'm going to tell you about his giveaway on his blog this month.

Go HERE to check it out.

Anyway, he is going to give away a Nook First Edition Wi Fi.  It's pretty simple to enter into the drawing for his giveaway.  Go check it out.

And check back here soon for my review of his book. I think you'll like it.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Dark CARMA and Good Karma

Want to see what's coming soon?

Check out the button to the side about The Dark CARMA tour. You'll be able to see what kinds of books are coming soon, and even see reviews about these books.

These books soon to be released in November look fascinating. I can't wait to get my hands on them. Some are in the same genre I write, and all are ones I'm interested in reading.

And you can even blog about it and be entered into a chance to win some prizes. Prizes are always good. So go check it out. Either click on the Dark CARMA button to the side or go here.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Well that was fun.

I had a lot of fun participating in the blog hop created by Tristi Pinkston. Check out the link on the side if you want to know more about it.

I also really enjoyed checking out other people's blogs and seeing what others are doing. So many fun things going on.

It got me thinking. I want to do more than just post my random thoughts or even more than just telling you about how things are going with my writing.
I'm going to try some different things to see what works for me and what will stick.
One thing I'm going to do is give book reviews. I've done one or two, but I liked reading other's reviews on their blogs because it gives me a good idea on what would be a good book to read, or what to pass on. So that will be coming.

On a side note, I still want to tell you about how my writing is coming along. I finished my second full manuscript in July just before my baby was born. I've got about 7 friends reading it to give me their feedback on it so I'll know what kinds of things I need to fix before getting it ready to query agents about. In the meantime, I've been doing some prework on a new idea for a new story I have. I must admit it's been a little difficult to let go of the persona of the main character in my just finished work and really get into the mindset of this new character. I think I'm almost there, but it is taking a bit of concentration.

I'll get there eventually. Can't wait to share my characters with you.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A blog hop and chance to win a Free Book.

Welcome to the September Blog Hop! Celebrate the beginning of fall with me and my blogger friends by hopping around, visiting our sites, and entering our contests! There are no limits - you can enter the contest on every blog. With over 40 blogs participating, that's over 40 prizes you could win. Just click on the links below to move on to the next blog.

On my blog, you can win …

An autographed copy of INSIGHT By Terron James see his website here

Would you like to win this prize? You just need to do two things.

1. Be or become a follower of this blog.

2. Leave me a comment in the trail and tell me why you'd like to win this prize.

That's it! You are now entered. The contest ends on Saturday night, September 24th, at midnight MST, and the winner will be contacted shortly thereafter. Please either leave your e-mail address in the comment trail or make sure it's visible through your profile so I can contact you to tell you that you're the lucky winner.

Now go visit my other friends ...

September Blog Hop Participants

1. Tristi Pinkston, LDS Author
2. Joyce DiPastena
3. I Am A Reader, Not A Writer
4. Mandi Slack
5. Michael D. Young
6. Six Mixed Reviews
7. Pam Williams
8. Laurie Lewis
9. Kristy Tate
10. Marilyn Yarbrough
11. Stacy Coles
12. Kristie Ballard
13. Lynn Parsons
14. Pushing Past the Pounds
15. Sheila Staley
16. cindy Hogan
17. Jamie Thompson
18. Jaclyn Weist
19. Cathy Witbeck
20. Secret Sisters Mysteries
21. Tamera Westhoff
22. Tina Scott
23. Lynnea Mortensen
24. Danyelle Ferguson aka Queen of the Clan
25. Jeanette A. Fratto
26. Bonnie Harris
27. Melissa Lemon
28. Mary Ann Dennis
29. Stephanie Black
30. Jane Still
31. Janice
32. Laura Bastian
33. Tamara Bordon
34. Betsy Love
35. Maria Hoagland
36. Amber Robertson
37. Debbie Davis
39. Christy Monson
40. Carolyn Frank
41. Rebecca Birkin
42. Melissa Cunningham
43. Emily L. Moir
44. Ronda Hinrichsen
45. Lisa Asanuma
46. Joan Sowards
47. Jordan McCollum
48. Diane Stringam Tolley

Monday, September 19, 2011

This is a test


I'm trying to see if I can set something to post on my blog at a particular time so I can write something when I have a minute, but let the computer do the posting at a particular time.
Won't that be fun.

Learning all kinds of new things for blogging.

What kinds of tricks do you know about blogs?

Friday, September 16, 2011

A book review of Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book captivated me from the beginning. The only thing I didn't like about this book was that it ended too soon, and now I have to wait for the sequel to see what happens next. The story was fun and imaginative, the characters were real to me, and though they were based on Greek mythology, I found myself believing it all.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Managing the time I have.

Now that kids are back in school, and the baby is getting on a routine of sorts, I figured I needed to get myself into a routine as well.

Being a stay at home mom, and attempting to write novels makes for an interesting life. I still have to maintain my home, (though some days I do better than others) and I have to take care of my children, providing for their physical, emotional, and spiritual welfare. Yet to be a writer, they tell you to read lots (Something I'm very willing to do) and you need to be consistent in the time you write, (writing every day for some people) But with only so many hours in the day, and many of those occupied by a newborn that doesn't care if I want to spend some time writing since the muse is with me, it gets kind of hard to get much writing done.

I've decided that I need to come up with some realistic goals. As I've thought of them, I've come to some realizations:
#1. Remember that writing is fun and could be something important to me, but my family needs to come first.
#2. Realize that the house needs to be clean enough to live in, but I don't have to pass a white glove exam, and if anyone thinks I need to then shame on them.
#3. Even though writing isn't the MOST important thing, it is still important to have some ME time, and if writing makes me happiest, then the dishes can sit in the sink for a while.
#4. Facebook, and Email are helpful and useful to a writer,(and a mom starved for adult interaction), but they sure are time suckers.
#5. The goal of writing at least 500 words is easily doable even if I only have 30 minutes to spare so shut off FB and Email.
#6. Keep in touch with other writers who are in the same boat, and try to rub shoulders with those who have survived and conquered.
#7. Blogging about the journey is fun and should be done at least weekly.

So after all those realizations, here are my goals:

*spend at least 30 min a day writing, and do lots more if I have the time for it.
*spend at least 30 min a day tidying up, and make the kids do the rest. ;)
*spend at least 30 min a day checking Email and FB, but after that, leave them alone for at least six hours, then you can recheck it. (you know what I'm thinking, you have to go back and see if anyone "liked" your post, or if they've left you a comment)
*read at least 1 book a week to keep up with what is out there, and see how others did it.

So to you out there, how do you organize your time to get it all done?

Sunday, September 4, 2011

I got a blogging award.

Passing friendship to others...

A friend of mine, Scott Bryan gave me this award and now I want to share it.

The Liebster Blog award! "Liebster, for those of you who are not Nightcrawler or cannot speak German, means "friend" and is aimed at those who have fewer than 200 followers.

Right now I have less than 200, but some day I'll have more.

At any rate, here are the rules...

- Link back to the person who gave you the award.
Check out his blog here.

- Pick five other people to give the award to and notify them on their blog.

- Post the award on your blog.

- Bask in the camaraderie of the most supportive people on the internet—other writers.

- And best of all—have bloggity fun and spread the love.

It will also be fun to follow the blogs back and join more than the other winners blogs who accompany yours.

The winners are...

Betsy Love an LDS author who is my online writing buddy.

Shanna Blythe another writer and teacher I met online

Stephanie Milner a friend of mine who likes to share her thoughts on movies and shows. She's got another blog for her writing so if you want to see it check her out.

Tamara Bordon This is a cousin of mine who writes, but also has a food blog and the dishes look delish.

Sprintwriters Central. (this one is kind of a bonus. There are many writers with blogs to link to on this site and you'll love the features here.) It's where I go to be online while I write and get support from others.


Pass on the love and lets see how many followers we can help others get.


Friday, August 26, 2011

I'm back

Though there probably weren't many that noticed I wasn't on.

The reason for my absence was the addition of a new baby into my life. And boy was it a relief when he finally got here. I was obsessed with my pre/early labor. Contractions all the time, but no progress. Finally with some assistance in the form of pitocin, he made his entrance into the world measuring 22 inches, weighing 11 lbs and 7 ounces. No that isn't a typo, it is really ELEVEN pounds. And it wasn't by c-section by the way. Just think of me as super-mom

The funny thing is, I can't think of a word that encompasses his size, other than big. I have tried doing it in all caps BIG, but sometimes a simple word can be just as effective as a more elaborate word. I do refer to him as the monster baby, but that could make you think of him as a monster, and not just his size.

While waiting for his birth, I was able to finish my manuscript two days before he was born. It felt nice to write the words "the end" though I know it isn't finished. I have many edits ahead of me. I have finally been able to look at it again now that the not so little man is sleeping for 4 to 5 hours at least once a night.

I've also begun dreaming again, and it's been giving me ideas of what to work on next. It's exciting to be a mom again, though it is exhausting. But I'm also very excited to be working on my writing again. Even if it's only for a few minutes here and there between feedings, changings, naps, and taking care of my other kids and the house. It may take me a while to finish the edits, and get it ready to submit, but at least it's another manuscript done.

So what's a better word to describe my "big" boy?
Share them in the comments.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Wanna free e-book?

Hi there. I've decided to offer you a chance to get a free book all on your own, just for making the effort to check out my blog.
I've got a writing friend that is offering her book for free as an e-book until July 31st. I've read it and loved it.

Here is the summary of the book I copied off her website.

It has been 3,000 years since a white image has been seen upon Rasann.

In the midst of a volcani eruption miles outside of her village, Ember discovers she can see magic and change the appearance of things at will. Against her mother's wishes, she leaves for the mage trials, only to be kidnapped before arriving. In trying to escape, she discovers she has inherited her father's secret - a secret that places her in direct conflict with her father's greatest enemy.

At the same time, Kayla is given guardianship of the Sapphire Flute and told not to play it. The evil mage C'Tan has been serching for it for decades, and the sound alone is enough to call her. For the flute to be truly safe, Kayla must find its birthplace in the mountains high above Javak.

The girls' paths are set on a collision course...and C'Tan will do whatever it takes to keep them from fulfilling their destiny.

here is the link to the free book
This is the link to her blogspot, you can also find a link to download her book from there.
This is the link to her author website.

The sequel in this series is almost complete. She's just putting some finishing touches on it and plans to reveal it in August. I can't wait to read it, and know you'll love it too.

And while you are on my blog here, move over just a little to the left and follow me. Thanks.


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Though Author would be a cool title...

I haven't written on this blog for a little too long, but I think I have a good excuse. Of course it is still just an excuse, but I must say family always comes first.

My daughter had and emergency surgery to remove her appendix and clean up her innerds after it had burst and poured way too much junk into her abdomen. She spent 9 days in the hospital recovering, and even though I took my laptop to the hospital with me, ( I stayed with her all day and night since she's so young) I only opened it once to try to write. And I couldn't get myself into the story I'd been working on so diligently before.

I was more interested in being with her, talking to her, taking care of her, and helping her whenever she needed it than with the imaginary world I had been so involved in before.

It doesn't matter how much I enjoy writing, it isn't nearly as important as the relationships I have with the real world.

Now she's home and doing really well. Still has to take things slow since she has a 6 inch scar down the center of her belly under her belly button, but she's been a trooper through it all.

Now I have some time to get back to writing and I'm rushing as quickly as I can before the baby I'm carrying now decides to join the family. I still try to take as much time as I can to write, but seeing the fragility of life makes me realize I need to stop writing sometimes for the more important things in life. If I never get a book published it doesn't matter.
If I fail as a mother, it does matter.

I cherish the title of MOM more than the abstract idea of author. (though that would be a fun title to add as well, I'll stick with Mom.)

PS I'm still planning on giving away a free ebook.
To have a chance to win the ebook, you just have to be a follower of my blog. To get two chances to win, get a friend to follow me too. Once I get to 75 followers, I'll do the drawing.

If you get the friend to follow me, let me know in the comments so I can enter your name twice. Or three times if you get multiple friends to follow.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

E books. What are your thoughts?

I don't have a nook, kindle, or other, but I do have an ipod touch that I was able to download the nook and kindle apps for free. Since doing that, I've tried out a couple of ebooks just to see if I like reading them on the ipod vs the actual book in my hands.

Verdict? So far, I'd have to say I still prefer the book, because my kids aren't asking for a turn on the book, but they do ask for a turn on the ipod. Plus, a book, I can borrow from the library, (but honestly, I don't make it to the library very often, and I've heard you can borrow ebooks from libraries now).

However, you can find lots of ebooks for relatively cheep. 99 cents for a few hours of vacation from your mundane life can't be beat. You don't have the physical book to find a place for on your shelves.

Of course there are more reasons than the ones I've given, but I think a book, in any form is a good thing. Reading is awesome.

I'm sure I'll be reading more books in both formats, but if the book is so outstanding I want it for a second read, then I'd probably do it in actual book form.

Speaking of ebooks. I'll be doing a contest for a free ebook, so check back for details and let your friends know so they can follow me too.


Friday, June 17, 2011

I love a good writing challenge.

I totally rock at writing lots of words. When I have a motivation or a challenge, or when there is someone to check up on me.

For instance, a writer friend of mine started Sprint Writers Central. Check out the widget on the side. It's a place where you can go and write while other writers are in the chat room. They've got a timer where you can do little sprints of how ever long works for you. I just did 2 thirty minute sprints for a total of an hour. Guess how many words that produced. 1, 807. That's about 30 words per minute.

Now if I didn't have someone to race against, or even just the timer, or even just my imaginary writing friends when no one else is on the site at the same time as me, I wouldn't write nearly as much.

I'm also part of a Facebook group page that has challenged each writer to write at least 500 words per day for six months, and that would equal about a 90,000 word novel.

This might not work for another writer, but for me, it's been a great motivator.

So get together with a writer friend or two and challenge yourself.

Wanna join us? Let me know and I'll get you hooked up on the Facebook page. But just click that little sprint writers central widget to join the other one.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

What is a writer?

What is a writer? Really?

I just read an amazing thing from another writers blog. I'm hoping I can attach the link to get there from HERE It lets people know that writers are people too. Some are awesome, and some are in need of a few manners. But always remember, authors are people too.

Speaking of that. I'm not technically considered an author, because I have not had anything I've written published, but I do feel like I am one. Or a writer, or whatever you want to call what I do.
But I'm also a mom, a wife, a daughter, a neighbor, a friend, a volunteer, a cook, a cleaner, a teacher, a chaufer, etc... I have hopes and dreams. I fail and I succeed. I start and I stop. I laugh and I cry. I have ups and downs. Just like everyone else out there in this fantastic world of ours.

I know some writers are the kind who can start a book, finish it, send it in, and get it published all in less than a year.
Other writers spend years going through the process of planning their plot, and characters and slave over every detail and yet their books never see the light of day.
So many writers would love to have unlimited time to follow their muse, but it doesn't always happen. We have diapers to change, kids to feed, bath time to regulate, houses to clean, shopping to do, naps to take (or dream about taking) Many have full time jobs to juggle, and volunteer service to provide.

So I guess with all this random ramblings, I'm just trying to say that there are many more things about a writer/author than just their books.
BUT, we sure love our books, and hope the world out there will love them too.


Monday, May 30, 2011

It's great to be excited about writing again.

I have been working on my second manuscript. Thinking things through, sending the first part through a critique group, enjoying the creative process, getting irritated that I don't know what should come next, or since I think I know what should come next if that is really what I want in that particular location, reading a book on how to make the best of your story by putting the right things in, in the right place, in the right amount. (boy that was a long sentence that my critique group would tell me to fix right away.)

Anyway, I have read over it and over it many times, and have discovered that printing it out and actually being able to see it on paper is so much different than just seeing it on the computer screen. I have been reluctant to print it since I don't want to waste the paper or ink on something I'll have to throw away eventually, but I must say, it has been really helpful.

I'm seeing the story with almost fresh eyes. And once I finish tackling the last 20 written pages, I feel like I know where to take the story again. I knew where I wanted it to end, but there are a few places throughout that have just sort of been cloudy to me. Now with the help of the book I read, (Larry Brooks, Story Engineering: the Six Core Competencies of writing) I know that it isn't in terrible shape, but with just a few tweeks and rearranging a couple of things, it has lots of potential.

My goal is to get the entire thing finished by June 15th. So I'm going to do that by writing every day for at least 30 minutes. And then I'll do the 15th through the 30th on an edit. Then I'll put the thing away for a month and work on something else so when I come back to it, I'll see it through new eyes, and do another edit.

It's great to be excited about writing again.


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Writers need other writers.

So I got to go to a writers conference last weekend. It was very good.

There were classes on all kinds of things relating to writing. Some were about the mechanics, plot, character development, conflict, and so on. Others were about blogging, (which I missed since I unfortunately couldn't be in two places at once). Some were about adding romance to your story, some were about how to get published. Some were about how to write the perfect villain, and believe me that was a fun class. There were panels from actual agents and editors who answered questions about what will get your manuscript out of the slush pile, and what will be thrown away before they even get past the first page.

The thing that amazed me the most about all the conferences for writers I've been to is that writers are normal people. Even the best selling ones. They are kind and want others to succeed so are very willing to share the tricks of the trade. They cheer for you in your successes, and also help you move past your failures, since they've been there too.

I really think every writer needs to have other writers to be their friends, mentors, supports, and even their critics. No one knows a writer like another writer. Family and friends are definitely important, but a writer needs more writers to associate with. I'm so glad I'm starting to meet more of them.


ps. here is a link to another writers blog who interviewed one of the presenters. Check it out here.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

I'm on twitter.

I really am.
So what does that mean? I don't know, but I'm going to find out. Maybe someone will teach me. Maybe someone will follow me. Maybe I'll be in the world of tweets without much to tweet about. Maybe I'll tweet too much and people will stop following me.

What ever it means, I'm ready to experience it all.

If you have advice, or knowledge or something else to share with me about twitter, like where and how to follow you, make a comment and let me know.

lauradbastian is my twitter name.


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Waiting is hard.

But finding out the answer to your question is a little terrifying.

I submitted some additional requested material almost 3 weeks ago. In the email reply from the agency, it said to give them about 2 weeks to review it before expecting to hear from them. So for 2 weeks, I was fine. Once the 2 weeks passed, I started to get a little nervous every time I'd go to open my email.

I still haven't heard from them, and will wait another week before sending an email asking about the status of my submission, but even then, I'd have no idea what to say. How do you sound professional when asking if they've had a chance to read your work that you've SLAVED over, and whether or not they liked it enough to read the whole thing. I only got to send them 3 chapters, and while I think those 3 chapters have greatly improved since the first draft of this story, I still wonder if they are good enough.

So anyways, I'm waiting to hear, but kind of not looking forward to the answer. I sure hope it's not a no. But if it was a yes, we'd like to read the rest of it, then I get to go through the whole process over again.

Baby steps is all I can think to call it.

What kinds of things are you waiting for?


Monday, April 25, 2011

How I feel when I'm reading a book.

Click on this: I'm reading a book. You have to click on this link to see a hilarious video about how I feel when I'm reading a book.

Some times you just want to escape into a world where it is so different from your own real life. And some times you just don't want to come out of it either.

Not quite the same way I feel when I write in my "book" but it gets kind of close too.

What is your favorite type of book world to escape into? I love the fantasy.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Working on enjoying the writing process again.

I had almost given up hope on the work I've sent out to agents when I get an email saying one agency is interesting in reading more.

Isn't it funny how things can almost seem hopeless, then you get a ray of sunshine that makes you think its still all worth while.
Now I have no idea what will come of this request for more material. Experience tells me to expect a thank you for sending this, but we regretfully must pass and good luck as you continue to send it out. But then hope tells me to have faith and say, they're gonna love it and ask for the whole manuscript.

There are so many steps to the whole process of writing and becoming published. When I first started out, it was just for fun to see what I could do. Then I started to imagine how fun it would be to become published that the fun of writing left me. I've been working on ignoring the things out of my hands and just trying to write for fun again. Those times I can do that and forget about the whole publishing thing is when I enjoy my writing.

I do enjoy writing, and someday hope you can enjoy reading what I've written, but until then I'm just going to write for me.


Friday, April 1, 2011

What is stopping me?

I have been stuck on a portion of my work in progress for some time now. I feel like the whole story line is a good one, and it's something that I don't think has been really done before, so I'm anxious to see what will come of it, but man, I just can't get myself to buckle down and write the next part.

I've been working on this and sending it through my fabulous critique group so I'm really encouraged by their responses and have found their suggestions very helpful and I have a good idea of where I want it to go and I know how it needs to end, but just the part of getting it down on the page is what is stopping me.

This one is taking me much longer than the first manuscript I wrote. That one was done for fun to see where it would lead, but this one I know so much more about the writing process, and yet I'm struggling more with it.

It also doesn't help that I'm allowing myself to be distracted by other things. Yesterday I even forbid myself from opening up netflix or hulu. However, the fabulous spring day called to me and my children came first so we played outside.

Today I'm having my crit group, and once we are done. I'm going to sit at this computer and get cracking. I only have a few more months until we add a baby to the mix so I'd better have all the story written so I can focus on raising a newborn and only have to do some editing instead of the whole shebang of writing it.

So what is stopping me????

Just myself. I'm gonna stop stopping me and start starting me.
Wish me luck.


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A book review. KiTE by Bill Shears

Wow, it's been a long time since I posted, but I have another book I read that I'd like to share with you.

It's called KITE: A Novel in Earth Orbit.
written by Bill Shears.


This book is science fiction set at a time when Earth has advanced to the point where space travel is a common thing. They've built casinos in space, developed more advanced space stations, have space motels, and rich people can go cruising space in their own personal spaceships. With all of the space travel came lots of space debris and so KITE, and other Orbital Maintenance ships were created to clean it all up so some hapless space traveler didn't crash into the junk.

Kite is the last one up there, piloted by one person at a time for three month stints. Mason Dash is the pilot who we follow in this book. His wife Janet is a computer genius and Dash is more of a glorified garbage man, but he loves it. He even gets to shoot lasers at the junk that's too big for the sweeper so it can fit nicely into the compacter to be disposed of as it burns through earths atmosphere.

Dash is more of a happy go lucky kind of guy, who just wants to finish up his years and get that pension he's been working for so he can retire with no worries. He has a computer simulated woman named Sheila, who started out as a "toy" to keep him occupied and talk to on his long days, but when his wife Janet adds some of her own personal touches, Sheila begins to change. She gets a personality, and makes choices on her own.

Unknown to Dash or any other pilots or maintenance employees, the computer system on Kite begins to develop consciousness on its own. He_Ra as he finally calls himself (he changes names every time you read about him) begins a hostile takeover and eventually gains control of Kite. Sheila, who has actually stowed away this time instead of just talking to Dash from Earth is key to preventing He_Ra from making a mess of Kite. Dash is working on figuring out who is on the space station that has been empty for years, and what they are doing there so secretly.

I must admit that when I began reading this, it took awhile to get into. I didn't like Dash at first, because he just didn't seem likable, but as I progressed through the book, he started to become more interesting.
Sheila, though she was only a computer program was the one I really liked to read about as she began to change and morph into her own being instead of just a computer simulated woman.
The parts in the book where it talked about how things were progressing inside the main computer system on Kite were somewhat confusing, but eventually became easier to understand when I just let myself know I would never understand it fully, and just tried to get a clue as to what He_Ra was doing.

Anyway, to put it simply. It was an interesting book, but I did take longer to read it than many other books I've had in my hand. The second half moved much faster than the beginning. I wonder if it was because there was very little real life action happening. Just some speculation and wondering as Dash tried to figure out what was going on. Once things got moving, I finished it within the day.

If you're into entertaining Sci-Fi, and have some time to kill, I'd tell you to go for it. If you are looking for something deep and moving, this probably isn't the book you're looking for.

For the authors website click here

If you'd like to order it, click here

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

BOOK REVIEW Star Scout Rising First Trail. Vol 1

I am branching out on my blog and trying something new. I received a book from a new author, and I get to tell you all about it.
STAR SCOUT RISING First Trail vol 1 by Gary Darby


This book was interesting to say the least so I'll start at the beginning and tell you first impressions. I know you aren't supposed to judge a book by the cover, but I had mixed feelings about it. I loved the top half, but the creature depicted on the cover really bothered me. I had to actually cover it with my hands to ignore the awful animal. But then, I couldn't keep my eyes off it trying to figure out what it was.

Once inside the book, it got much better.
Some things I noticed as I read it. There was a strong relationship to the way the Boy Scout program, and this Junior StarScout program, the main character Del Baldura was a member of, work. There were also hints and references to some events hundreds of years into our past.

Del is a Jr. StarScout team leader over a group of five Jr. StarScouts doing one of their final field exams before they are sent on their no notice final exam in a remote area of Earth in the year 2433. Del joined the StarScouts to try to find out what had happened to his father who had mysteriously disappeared on a mission and was thought to have turned traitor, though Del doesn't believe it.

There are good guys, bad guys, bad guys pretending to be part of the good guys, and so on. At first it was hard to keep track of who was what, but at the end, it becomes clear. (you'll have to read it to know)

The weird creature on the cover? Well it does come in to play. It is the creature the Jr. StarScouts are supposed to track on their field assignment, but come to find out, it sure packs a punch and those fangs are dangerous. As they are tracking it, and almost come close to capturing it, a band of Extra Terrestrial Poachers nab the creature, and kidnap one of the Jr. StarScouts who had been recording it. The other Jr. StarScouts sneak on board the ship to try to rescue her before it takes off and end up captives as well.

They travel around the galaxy, doing things the poachers want them to do in order to earn their freedom and learn a lot about themselves and how their training in the StarScout program has helped them manage what comes at them. There is even one place where Del has the chance to leave the poachers behind and save himself, but he remembers the oaths he took as a StarScout and saves them, even though it means he's still under their control.

Interspersed through the story is a back story and information about Del's missing father, his Uncle Jak who is a decorated StarScout himself and a group called the Gadion Faction who are an organized crime group headed by one mean and ruthless man who just wants more power, though he's considered the most powerful man in all the galaxies.
At times this back story confused me since I was just getting into the flow of the story, especially during some really action packed sequences, then the author did a few flashbacks to explain, throwing me off for a moment until I realized what had happened.

Mr. Darby has great story telling skills, got me really involved in the story, got me to care about Del and really want to know what happened to his father, though I still don't know for sure. There is some comic relief, a little bit of romance, some danger and intrigue, and life defining moments. Though it isn't resolved in this first book, he did a fantastic job making me want to know what comes next. The end of this book isn't the end, just a pausing spot and I'm a little irritated I have to wait for the rest, but I've felt that way about many books in series. It is science fiction, and not what I normally read, but I don't regret the time I spent on this book and look forward to what comes next.

If you'd like to buy it you can click here for more information.

If you prefer the kindle, click here.

The authors blog is here where you can see other reviews of this book.

Hope you enjoy it.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

In which you'll learn about my personality from my TV shows

I just wanted to share a little bit about me and what I'm like by telling you some of my favorite TV shows.

I love Psych. I'm watching it on netflix, episode after episode when I have free time. (And even when I don't) I love how Shawn and Gus have such a fun friendship and solve all kinds of quirky crimes and murders.

I love Bones. About a forensic scientist who helps the FBI solve murders when all that is available to the crime is bones. Dr Brennan makes me laugh at how she's so logical, and all things of common sense go over her head, but over the years she's become more human thanks to Agent Booth.

Castle is another favorite. Castle is a crime novelist who shadowed a New York City detective and has developed a crush on her. She was the basis for his latest heroine. Castle ends up bringing some help to the force since he looks at crimes in a different way since he writes in the minds of the bad guys.

(though I like these shows, I am in no way capable of writing about crime or solving murders or anything, but it sure is fun to watch.)

And on to other shows. I love Phineas and Ferb. It's a cartoon on the Disney Channel about 2 step brothers who have a pet platapus, (Who happens to be a secret agent that fights against the Evil Dr. Dufensmirtz) and the brothers come up with all kinds of things to keep them occupied during the long summer days and really annoy their older sister with their antics since they so such outrageous things, but never get caught by their parents.
These shows are currently not showing, but can't wait to find them on hulu again: Warehouse 13, and Eureka. Hope they come back soon.
Some more I enjoy occasionally: Lie to Me. Monk. .. but don't want to go on and on.

Now I'm curious to know what you like to watch. And what fantastic shows out there am I missing???

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Dr. Seuss = Genius

I know I'm a little late on this, but it was Dr. Seuss's birthday this past week. My kids enjoyed some Dr. Seuss related activities at school and on Friday they were invited to bring their favorite book to school for a read-a-thon.

My daughter took a library book she had, but my son in 1st grade took Hop on Pop. That is his favorite one since he can read it all by himself without feeling like he's struggling on every other word. He read it every day for weeks for his reading homework. I must say Dr. Seuss was definitely a genius. I know he wrote other books besides the common ones you hear about for young readers, but I haven't read any of them. I may be simple, but I love his early reader books. Especially the rhyming ones.

Fox in Socks, and Oh Say Can You Say are some awesome tongue twisters, but I love the "Oh the Places You'll Go." He gives such good advice and fun reads with such simple words. No one will ever be able to write like he did and be as loved.

As a side note, I saw a post on Facebook, though I don't remember who posted it. It said something about how their child's school was doing a week long Dr. Seuss week, but with Presidents day the week before, not much was said about two of the most important Presidents of the United States history. I totally understand her concern, but I think I also understand the reason Dr. Seuss is so celebrated. Just seeing my own son love reading when he pulls out a Dr. Seuss book makes me have hope that he'll find success in school. Learning about the Presidents will come, but for now, I'm totally in favor of schools doing something in honor of an amazing author.

What is your favorite Dr. Seuss book?

Monday, February 28, 2011

Back from vacation, and I'm so glad.

Do you ever need a vacation after a vacation????

I do. We took our family and Mark's dad to Disneyland and Sea World last week and had a good time, but I'm sure glad it's over and I'm back home.
I tried to do some planning and thinking about my book, but every time I tried to write something down in my note book, I kept thinking I wish I had my laptop to just write the story instead of trying to plan it out. I have to have the story in front of me for it to really work.
I know the basic skeleton of my story, but I'm no good and writing down all the scenes and plot points and such on a notebook. I want to let the story develop as I go with the main end in sight.

So now that I'm home, I'm going to be catching up on some things and getting into the writing full force again.