Thursday, May 26, 2011

Book Review: Queen of the Dead

Queen of the Dead (A Ghost and the Goth Novel) by Stacey Kade might possibly be one of those sequels that surpasses the first book. I don't want to spoil the first book for anyone who hasn't read it, but while I did think the book was awesome, I was a little uncomfortable with the stereotypical view that Alona had that everybody wanted her (including females), though that fit in a bit with her shallow personality. The whole point of Alona being sent back from the light is for her to change her ways, right?

Queen of the Dead picks up two months after the first book ends. Will and Alona are still doing their thing helping ghosts atone for their regrets so they can move on to the light. Things get complicated when they meet a fellow ghost-talker who doesn't quite share Will's benevolent attitude towards spirits (Did I mention said ghost-talker is female?). It doesn't help that Alona's mom and dad are both moving on with their lives. Alona feels like she is being left behind and forgotten. Will's doubts over helping her "remind" her family about her previous existence only makes her feel more alone.

When Alona's rash action to take matters literally into her own hands results in dangerous unexpected consequences, a difficult choice must be made that will change their lives and the course of their relationship. The cliffhanger literally had me shocked and surprised it ended the way it did (sorry, no spoilers!). This book isn't due out in bookstores until May 31st, 2011, but hopefully Kade is busy typing away at the next one. ;)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Ack! What Have I Done?!

Writer's Digest is sponsoring a critique contest with agent Kristen Nelson of Nelson Literary Agency.

Simple, just submit the first 1000 words of your manuscript and you have the chance of being featured in an issue of Writer's Digest with a corresponding critique from Kristen. This is a wonderful opportunity to see just what it is that you are doing right or wrong. Well, if you get selected, that is.

It is also a very scary prospect because if you are selected, then your work will be featured in an issue of Writer's Digest with a corresponding critique from Kristen.


Well, criticism is suppose to be good for you and very helpful, so I have thrown my lot into the ring. I just emailed the first 1000 words of Stranger Than Fiction to the contest (BTW that has been renamed to Hooking the Hollywood Hottie, will change name on WIP list when I get access to a real computer). The contest ends Sunday, May 22nd 11:59pm. If selected, I will hear from them by June 30th.

What have I just done?

Friday, May 20, 2011

Of zombies, ghosts, and death gods...

Tomorrow may be the Rapture, or then again maybe not...

I love the fact that right now #zombieApocalypse is now trending on Twitter. Even the Center for Disease Control (CDC) is jumping on the social media bandwagon and adopting the zombie trend to promote disaster preparedness. There is something just so cool about a government agency that is willing to be, well, weird. But, you know, weird in a good way...

BTW Is there any coincidence that the end of the world is coinciding with Zombie Awareness Month?

Well, I have a new app to try out, Comic Life, and I have to say I am in love with it. I found it very easy to use and once I figured out how to get it from the iPad to Flickr so I could upload it to Blogsy to upload to Blogger (did you follow all that?), I see some awesome future blogging potential.

In honor of the potential Zombie uprising I have a death inspired book review comic uploaded for your enjoyment. Enjoy!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Smallville and Other Randomness...

Sorry, Jennifer can't come out and play today. To paraphrase Spongebob, I have the ick. Seriously, I am kinda wanting to swallow glass because it has to be better than the way I am feeling right now and I was actually doing better this afternoon and all.

You know you are not doing good when a shot of the "so you can rest medicine" just ain't doing it for you. It could also have been my perseverance to make sure I stayed awake to watch the finale of Smallville. *sigh* What am I going to watch now?

I could have done without that first hour and if you haven't seen the episode then please avoid...


I loved the opening with Chloe reading the comic book to a little Ollie Jr. Very cute, but I felt like the whole bringing Lex back was a bit of a let down and they could have done more. Not surprised with how they handled that whole knowing Clark's secret thing, but Lex actually seemed like he had moments of goodness there at the end. That whole Lex for President angle comes from the comic verse so I am wondering if that is foreshadowing future movieverse. Also where were all the superheroes? Martian Manhunter, Star Girl, Black Canary, Cyborg, Aquaman? Why weren't they at the wedding? Even Perry or Cat from the Daily Planet? The only recognizable face in the crowd was Martha's.

Ever notice that no one in a comic/movieverse can get married without some evilness occurring? Cyclops and Jean Grey get propelled into the future to raise Nathan aka Cable, Chloe's Smallville weddings, Clark & Lois's wedding, the opening of the Incredibles!? Makes one wonder what it must be like to be a witness at one of those things and think "not this again!".

Yeah, think I have another story idea. Which is not cool cause I kinda need to finish the one I am working on. Wednesday, in the car of all places, I had a major brainstorm for one of my stories that I put on the backburner that will completely negate the seven chapters I already have written. See this is why none of my stuff gets finished. I have plot line ADHD. It is very serious and I need to focus.

Okay, the "so I can rest meds" are finally kicking in now that the tv is off.


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Internet Civility

The Internet certainly connects the world more than we were twenty years ago. We get instant news, instant entertainment, and instant feedback. In many cases this instant gratification can be just as much a bad thing as it can be a good thing.

One of the problems with the Internet is the online disinhibition effect. The online disinhibition effect happens when the inhibitions one would normally demonstrate in the real world are loosened. This loss of inhibitions often causes people to say and do things on the Internet that may be embarrassing, hurtful, or just completely out of character; stuff that they wouldn't do or say in public.

There are many reason that this effect can happen and many degrees, but what is important is that you remember that at the other side of the screen is a real person with real feelings. Everyone is entitled to their opinions and their beliefs, but when you choose to voice yours in a public forum like Twitter, Facebook (Yes, Facebook. Even though you choose who sees your comments it is still a social network.), or blogs, be prepared for others to have a difference of opinion. If you are not up to someone challenging you, then simply don't post. The purpose of these types of social media is in fact to be social, to start a conversation.

I am a librarian which means I fully support freedom of speech and a person's right to information. However, I draw the line at talk that is discriminatory and hateful. Thankfully many social media outlets agree and have policies in place for just such a thing. So remember before you post have a little civility and think before you type or you just might find yourself booted from the network.

Book Review: Magic Under Glass

I am going to share an old review I wrote for the Florida Library Youth Program blog with you because I think both the book and the author are just awesome. The paperback edition of this book comes out on May 24, 2011 and Dolamore's second book Between the Sea and Sky comes out October 25, 2011. 
Magic Under Glass By Jaclyn Dolamore. Bloomsbury, 2010. 978-1-59990-430-6
Nimira is a “Trouser Girl”, which means she makes her living as a singer and dancer in a two-bit music hall. She is not a native to the land of Lorinar. When Hollin Parry, Sorcerer, offers her the chance to be his private singer, accompanying his newly acquired piano-playing automaton, she jumps at the chance to escape the music hall.
The automaton has already scared away many singers who believed his moans and groans proved the automaton to be haunted. Then, there are the rumors regarding the death of Parry’s wife. Soon Nimira learns the secret of the automaton and the war building between the humans and the fairies.
Why I picked it up: I was curious about the storyline. I love stories that take established tales and then twist them into new creations.
Why I finished it: Dolamore weaves a wonderful web of conspiracy, magic, romance, and mystery. Not surprising that the author’s favorite classic is Bronte’s Jane Eyre. Though this novel takes place in a fictional setting it has all the elements of a Victorian Gothic Novel. I loved the book and am eagerly awaiting the sequel.
I’d give it to: Teens on up with an interest in fantasy novels, particularly to readers of Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Survived and Conquered!

Special thanks to Elizabeth Muller for the nifty badge!

The A-Z Blogger Challenge is now over! It was a great experience and love all the new friends. I will admit that I am more of a silent lurker than a commenter, but I do stop by to visit.

What this means for the blog is that there might not be daily updates, but it will be more constant. My husband has challenged me to see how many words I have posted in the last month to see if they equal anywhere near novel length. Um, yeah, that means I need to get my butt in gear and make a dent in my WIP.

Stranger than Fiction (BTW that title so needs to change, but that is down the line when I have a little bit more worked out) is currently sitting at 4k words and I have decided to work on that one for a while. Plus, I have a whole bunch of digital ARCs sitting in my NetGalley inbox waiting to be read and reviewed.

Maybe the next challenge I will take up is the Delacorte Press Contest for a First Young Adult Novel. They should be announcing last year's winner soon. Wonder if anyone made the cut; it's the type of contest where sometimes no one gets the prized contract.