Friday, February 22, 2013

Review of UnEnchanted


Greetings fellow humans,

This week has flown by; my hope is that it slows down this weekend.

Today I’m reviewing a young-adult novel:

UnEnchanted (an Unfortunate Fairy Tale Book 1) by Chanda Hahn.

                               Here’s the blurb:

Mina Grime is unlucky, unpopular and uncoordinated, that is until she saves her crushes life on a field trip, changing her High School status from loser to hero overnight. But with her new found fame brings misfortune in the form of an old family curse come to light. For Mina is descended from the Brothers Grimm and has inherited all of their unfinished fairy tale business. Which includes trying to outwit a powerful Story from making her it's next fairytale victim.
To break the fairy tale curse on her family and make these deadly occurrences stop, Mina must finish the tales until the very Grimm end.

You can see why I picked the book, actually, there were two reasons: One, it sounded like fun (which it was) and two, it was free…and still is. The characters were believable, the story maintained a steady momentum and it didn’t have the dreaded mid-story sag. I give this story 5 out of 5 stars.  I will definitely read the second book.

If you haven’t already checked out my book Sunshine in Darkness.  It’s on sale right now on Amazon for $0.99.  It has received very good reviews.  I have been singing the “I love reviewers” song this week.  I think it goes G, Am, E, F. Maybe I’ll make a recording of it for you all next week. J

So, that’s it for this week. I’ll leave you with the same questions posed last week:

1. What are the goals of the current project you’re working on?

2. What inspires you?

3. If you could live in a painting or as a character in a movie or a book for a day, who or    what would it be or what would it be and why?


One final note * Look to your left, do you see the Amazon search tool to the side?  I have put that there for you, and for this blog.  If you purchase things (anything) on Amazon regularly, click on this search button and Amazon will give me a small percentage that will go toward giveaways for this blog.J  It doesn’t affect your purchase price or anything like that, it only makes it so I’m able to afford giveaways for you – maybe I should write an “I love Amazon” song too.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Paranoia & Forgetfulness


Review for:

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: In search for the American Dream, by Hunter S. Thompson.

After finishing this book, I am utterly exhausted and desperately in need of a drink.  Who would have know that they actually found the American dream…Yep it’s a place. I think, if I understand it correctly; it’s inside Circus Circus (at least it was in 1971). 

++++++

Quotes

“Jesus! Did I say that? Or just think it? Was I talking? Did they hear me? I glanced over at my attorney, but he seemed oblivious—watching the road, driving our Great Red Shark along at a hundred and ten or so.”

“In a scene where nobody with any ambition is really what he appears to be, there’s not much risk in acting like a king-hell freak.  The overseers will nod wisely at each other and mutter about “these godddamn no-class put-ons.”

“The only thing that really worried me was the ether.  There is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible and depraved than a man in the depths of an ether binge.  And I knew we’d get into that rotten stuff pretty soon. Probably at the next gas station.”
                    ++++++

This book had me biting my nails and grinding my teeth… I definitely needed some extra vitamin B to get rid of the paranoid episodes that Thompson dragged me through.  On the bright side, after reading this, I’m completely confident that I can talk my way out of (or at least amuse myself) any situation—it’s easy; just follow the logic and lead of the Doctor and Attorney.  I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.  And will not be reading another one of Hunter S. Thompson’s books until I have fully detoxed and recovered from this one.  Now to watch the movie – after that drink of courseJ

What to read next?  Any suggestions?

Moving on:  This week I participated in the Three-Minute Fiction round 10 competition on All things Considered via NPR. The prompt was to write a three-minute voice-mail message consisting of 600 words or less.  I thought I’d share my mine with you. It was my only contribution to yesterday’s fuzzy Valentine ’s Day festivities —well that, and giving away a bunch of chocolate to some thirty or forty sugar-addicted monsters…I mean children.

J Enjoy.

I Can’t Remember the Title. No Really, I Can’t:    

I guess you’re still busy. I’ve called you a few times but that’s cool, you must have a lot going on. I was hoping that you could come over. I seem to have forgotten who I am.  I woke up on the couch, and I don’t know how I got here…or where here even is. Your number was written on my hand.  I hope I dialed the right number, because the nine looks a lot like a four…it’s a little smudged.  Anyways, only thing I can remember is you. I really wish the voice-mail robot said your name instead of your number.

My phone says it’s February 15—I hope we had a nice Valentine’s day. Maybe I got lucky yesterday and this is your fault – ha ha. I wish I could remember.

I drank some water and paced the apartment waiting for my memory to come back.  I even tried staring at myself in the mirror for about ten minutes, but the guy in the mirror doesn’t even seem remotely familiar. The picture on the mantle is of you and me. I wish I could remember when and where we took it. Is that Hawaii? Wherever that picture was taken, we look happy and you look beautiful. 

I thought some fresh air might do me some good and help me remember. But I can’t find the keys to lock up and I don’t even know what kind of neighborhood this is, so I didn’t want to risk leaving the door unlocked, or worse, get locked out. Then where would I be…a homeless amnesiac.

It took me a while to find the phone. I heard it chime from under the couch cushions–it was a text message from the phone company—apparently, my bill is due in five days.  Well okay then, I guess call me back.  It’s getting dark, and I’m a little worried that I might not remember you if I fall asleep again, or worse—you might not remember me – ha ha?

 

This week’s 3 questions: last week 3 are still blank so I’m going to stick with those.  J

1. What are the goals of the current project you’re working on?

2. What inspires you?

3. If you could live in a painting or as a character in a movie, or a book for a day, who would it be or what painting would it be? Why?

 

Lastly, I can’t blog without a promotional primal scream, I’ll keep it simple: Buy Sunshine in Darkness…other people like it, and statistics show that 10 out of 10 people who know other people like something, find they like it too—It’s like gonorrhea at an old folks home.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Sunshine in Darkness now available


Greetings and Salutations!

This week, I am happy to report the release of my debut novel Sunshine in Darkness.  It is a young adult/teen paranormal story. This story is told from the perspective of Sunshine Pilgrim, a seventeen-year old girl who has lived outside her body since birth. 

Here is the blurb: A dark, demon-like creature has possessed Sunshine’s body since the day she was born. Now, seventeen years later, she is done watching from the outside while the Intruder wrecks her life. When the opportunity arises to reclaim her body, she takes it.

Finally back in her body, Sunshine is arrested and, with her mother’s approval, sent to a mental institution where Intruders abound. Sunshine must learn who she is, take charge of her life, fight the Intruders, and look sane while doing it. 

Sunshine in Darkness is in essence a metaphorical coming of age story.  Check it out!

This week: I have been busy promoting my debut novel, finishing the last edits on The Adventure’s of Abby and Sofia: The Crocodile Pool –the children’s chapter book series I’m writing. I have also finished three more chapters of the second book in The Adventure’s of Abby and Sofia series.

 Between promotions (social media is a swirling, sucking, all-consuming vortex from which there is no escape…it is so in my face that I can only complain about social media on a social media site. Mostly because I am too busy to see my friends and family because I’m blogging, Facebooking and Twittering etc...help! help! help!), my children’s book, and the little bit of time traveling I’ve done—mostly to 1835 (research for another story I have been cradling) I have done little reading this week.  I hang my head in shame ;(  But I might just get time for my much needed escapism this weekend: it is both cold and rainy…my favorite!  So, with any hope, I’ll steer clear of omniscient social media and read read read!

Also, I have this idea for a different type of interview/blog tour.  I want to hear from other writers, painters, musicians, dancers…artists etc.  I think it would be good to create a community of artists and art lovers who are willing to discuss and question what we do and why we do it—and not just promote out work (yes, of course you can still mention your most recent release, I value that too and see its necessity).  I just think sometimes, there are so many voices screaming simultaneously that there is no way to hear what any one person is saying.  I believe it is our connections that matter.  I want to quiet the room for a moment and listen to what you are doing and why you’re doing it. After all, we are all artist/people of our time I want to know how others see it.

Okay, I’ll stop (really…I didn’t intend on writing a manifesto!) So, here is my idea: it’s called Three Questions.  I’m going to post three questions, if you are an artist or a lover of the arts (of any type) answer them. 

 This week’s Three Questions:
 
1.. What project are you currently working on?

2. What inspired you to start that project?

3. If you could live in a painting or as a character in a movie, or a book for a day, who would it be or what painting would it be? Why?

*feel free to leave a link to your blog, or work.J

As always feel free to leave a comment…have a good book suggestion? Or is there an event coming up that you would like to share?

Friday, February 1, 2013

Fear and Loathing in the Desert with Dr. Satan


Hola mi amigo’s,

This week was filled with music, speeches, reading, writing, and some trekking through the desert.

First the music: UCR’s orchestra performed a wonderful concert this weekend. There is something very human about an orchestra. The sound is so organic; the string instruments are often hand carved, and the players are so focused and determined to make each note count that it’s easy to forget about all the ugly in the world and just revel in the beauty that we humans can create. I particularly enjoyed Gustav Mahler’s Songs of a Wayfarer – beautiful, magical music!

This week I also worked as a judge at a high school speech competition. I judged three rounds of original scripts and it was a lot of fun. The high school students wrote short stories and speeches and then spoke or acted them out—sometimes playing the part of as many as five characters. Listening and witnessing the imaginations of those kids was so inspiring. I listened to stories about high school woes, serial killers, and an insane woman who was in love. The students also gave persuasive speeches followed by a solution. Their solutions to save the world should make the politicians shake in their boots.

This week’s writing: I’ve almost finished the fourth round of edits on my children’s chapter book and with any luck I’ll have finished writing the second by the end of this month. I time traveled a little too, but I hit a wall with that story, and after much meditation (I spent a lot of time in the car yesterday) I think I figured it out. I might have to start over–which means I get to spend more time in that world and with those characters so it’s still a win. ;0)

I have almost finish reading Nicole Dunlap’s, Miss Scandalous the second in the Miss Nobody series…I am enjoying the story and her style. If you are a person that likes family sagas with lots of drama, this series is for you. I was going to read Aubrianna Hunter’s new release Hidden Depths (which has hit the top 100 in erotic romance), but she writes faster than I can read and just released another book, Beyond the Mask, that she co-authored with Jeremy Laszlo. This is a paranormal story – which is more up my alley. So far (I’m 15% in – gotta love Kindle) it’s off to a great start; lots of seeds taking root.  I am also about half-done with Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S.Tompson. This book has me laughing out loud – usually at odd places. So I read, I laugh, people look at me, and then my face turns red…it makes for an interesting time at baseball tryouts.

This week my day job had me trekking over rugged dirt roads in the high desert in my little compact car. I finally took mercy on it and pulled over and searched through the prickly plants to find just the right piece of dirt to photograph. This did wonders for my imagination. In the fifteen minutes I wandered around, I came across: aliens, turtle with superpowers, lone doors with gunslingers ready to draw, and the one that ended the adventure and had me running back to my car—Dr. Satan popping out from behind a Joshua tree (thanks Rob Zombie!).

 I can easily appreciate the beauty of the desert, but would much rather love it with a large group of friends, a long poking stick, some spf 600, and lots of water.

Finally, my debut novel Sunshine in Darkness is set to release soon. It’s a paranormal story for young adults and/or those that just like to read paranormal stories (take that! genre police!).

Here is the bodaciously beautiful book blurb:

A dark, demon-like creature has possessed Sunshine’s body since the day she was born.      Now, seventeen years later, she is done watching from the outside while the Intruder wrecks her life. When the opportunity arises to reclaim her body, she takes it.

Finally back in her body, Sunshine is arrested and, with her mother’s approval, sent to a       mental institution where Intruders abound. Sunshine must learn who she is, take charge            of her life, fight the Intruders, and look sane while doing it.  

Its due to release sometime next week! 

Adios muchachos