Memory, Sorrow and Thorn Trilogy

Since the mainstreaming of books like Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones, people have been looking for other novels that reach that same quality of ‘epic story’.

Tad Williams books in the Memory, Sorrow and Thorn Trilogy reach that level of Epic.

The trilogy starts with The Dragon bone Chair.

We meet young Simon. He works in the castle of the High King. Well, he is SUPPOSE to work there but like most 14 year old boys prefers to dream of adventures and magic. Simon spends more time avoiding work. He become the apprentice of Doctor Morgenes the castle scholar. Simon thinks he will be learning magic only to find his days filled with numbers and writing. The young man is easy to identify with making it easy to follow him on his adventure.

The old king dies and his eldest son, Elias, takes the throne. Things seem to be going well until drought and plague hit the Kingdom of Osten Ard.  The king argues with his brother, Josua about one of the kings advisers. A snake of a man named Pryrates.

The adventure gets underway when Simon discovers Josua in an underground, hidden room being prepared for one of Pryrates evil rituals and Morgenes and Simon help rescue the prince.

Williams does an amazing job of taking races and characters that are familiar and giving them a new look and feel.

I don’t want to go into much more detail. The story is fantastic. It is one where you get so involved, when you come up for air the rest of the world seems surreal.

Tad Williams has a website. Be sure to stop by and check out some of his other works.

http://www.tadwilliams.com/

You can find all the Memory, Sorrow and Thorn books on Amazon.com

Happy Reading!

Hunted by the Others by Jess Haines

I met Jess Haines on Twitter (@Jess_Haines) when she and Yasmine Galenorn were tweeting weird vids at each other. Really Weird Vids.

We began to chat a bit and exchange a few vids. Turns out we are both RPG Gamers back in the days of Vampire: The Masquerade  and Werewolf: The Apocalypse. With that common ground we have hit it off fairly decent. Not to mention the love of all things Urban Fantasy related.

It was not until recently that I actually purchased her books. (You can find a 4 book set on Amazon here ). I went in with high hopes that a fellow Pen and Paper gamer would know how to create a great story. I was not disappointed!

Hunted by the Others is a First person story of struggling Private investigator Shiarra as she grudgingly takes a job working for Veronica, a powerful magic user, who asks her to find a statue currently owned by the local Vamp celeb Royce.

With bills screaming at her and rent over due, she takes the job.

Shia is plunged head first into the world of the Others as the plot thickens and Everyone is out to either Kill her or convert her to their cause.

This book flew by and I am so glad I purchased the 4pack set! While there are a few loose ends at the end of the book and I felt it was a bit long in closing, I have faith that Jess will bring the loose ends back into the fold through out the next few books.

If you are in need of an Urban Fantasy book, go check out Hunted by the Others. You won’t regret it.

Divided by Jennifer Sights

OK, I will come clean here and say that I do know the author. We met on Twitter for NaNoWriMo. She was my NaNo Harpy (someone who harps on you to write and get your word count for the day. Yes, I made that up.) She is also the lady who recruited me to become a Mary Kay Consultant. It is a friendship of a weird nature as it is part business and part social. That said…here is the review.

*SPOILERS MIGHT HAPPEN*

It is a story of Elena, a private investigator down on her luck and desperate for money. She takes a job looking for a young woman who has gone missing. The search takes her to a Gothic dance club where Vitorio, sexy business man/magic user hangs out. The two are plunged into a “love at first sight/drawn to each other” tangle that interfers with the investigation.

 

The book has a few editorial flaws in it, mostly misspelled or misplaced words, but they in no way take away from the story. A bit distracting but if you can ignore them and just read it is worth it. I do know that Jen is open to feedback and willing to do what is needed to improve. (as any successful author is).

I thought it was a bit slow at first and had some trouble getting into it but like “Joe vs the Volcano”, if you stick with it the story is rewarding with some great action scenes and plot tangles that leave you excited for the next chapter in Elena and Vitorio’s story. Toward the end I wasn’t able to put the book down until I had finished it!

I really look forward to reading the next book and get excited when Jen sends out tweets and info. It will be great to watch her develop and grow as a writer while reading this great love story.

Let me know if this review was helpful in deciding to read this book or not. Leave a comment.

Finding my brand.

Branding.

If you have dreams of becoming a name in something you need a brand. Something that says “Hey, this is me and I am interesting.” Well, I have been narrowing down the things about me that I feel are most important to me that would be interesting to others.

For instance…

I am a gamer. I play online games. I really enjoy them. They are a part of who I am. There are millions of people all over the world who make good money playing video games, making video games, writing books about video games and so on and so forth.

I am a writer. I am a NEW writer. I just finished my first ever manuscript this past NaNoWriMo, but I have always been a writer of words. Poems, blogs, journals and random other smaller things. I have always dreamed of BEING a writer. Everything I have ever done, every class I ever took was geared toward becoming a writer. People love to read. Makes for a great relationship 😀

I am a Mom. I have 7 boys. Yes, seven. I did not mistype. I love kids. I love babies. No I am not having any more thank you very much. Each one of my kids fills me with joy and makes me think “Wow, that is one cool kid.” Yeah, they have issues. No, sometimes I am not the worlds greatest mom in the world. But I try, and that is truly what matters. My kids know I love them and that I would burn down the rainforest if it would save them from some of the crap this world will inevitable toss at them. (I am not against being green or environment or anything but I am totally in love with my family) This, I think is another interesting thing about me. People are always asking “How do you do it?” Answer: “One day at a time and with very little sleep.”

So what does all this have to do with Branding?

Iniriba – Writer, Gamer, Mom.

A Book Review on Writing Great Fiction – Plot & Structure by James Scott Bell

Here we are, several months after NaNo and my book sits in a large manila folder by my computer. Mocking me.

I found myself struggling to get my NaNoWriMo book edited. I would take it out of its neat folder. Sit down somewhere cozy and prepare to read the silly thing. I made it about 20 pages in.

Not that I was not excited about the plot! There is great potential in those pages. The characters (after a bit of serious rewrite) are fun, sexy and smart-ass, but for some reason I just could not bring myself to sit there and read something I knew everything about.

It was starting to feel impossible! This book will never get edited. Rewrite is going to be a chore if I can not even read through it once!

I decided to look through my kindle for anything on the subject I could find. I was not really sure where to look so I started with the author who had recently given a webinar on the very subject I was having a hard time with.

James Scott Bell is an author who followed me on Twitter so I decided to return the favor by following him. Am I glad that I did!

I found his book Writing Great Fiction – Plot & Structure. I grabbed the sample and read through it. Absorbing every bit of info available in the brief snippet of text they allowed in the sample. I had to buy it.

 

I am only about half way through the book. I have started to take my time reading it. Wishing now I had purchased a hard copy to highlight the crap out of. (I think he even mentions doing that to his own books on writing.) It is one of those books that you just need to dunk in a bucket of highlighter ink.

JSB goes through the basics of plot creation and idea generation step by step with great examples from many of the top names in Fiction, both past and present. The exercises he gives started my mind whirling about ways to improve my book right away. I had to grab a notebook and pen to keep with me as I read.

He explains each stage of a book and the reasons why they work the way thay do in such a way that you never get bored.

I don’t have a very extensive library of ‘How to write…” books yet. I honestly don’t think there is a successful author out there who could put out such a book and not have it be good. I am really glad this book happens to be one of the first I have purchased.

Writing, due to the creative nature of it, is something that you can never learn too much about. Yes, I agree with JSB that it can be taught. Point proved by the things I have learned from his book so far. However, there is still the element of creativity, of spontaneous art that comes from the flow of the words onto the screen (or page if you longhand at all).

That part, I don’t feel, can be taught. It is the artistic passion of the writer that keeps them writing regardless of the number of rejection letters they have received. That starts them on the path to becoming a writer in the first place.

Happy New Year!

Welcome 2013!

The Holidays are over and it is time to get back to work. (ok how many of us did not work over the holidays, raise your hand? You guys that raised your hands,go punch yourselves in the face. Just kidding. Sorta.)

I am really excited about this new year. I hope the rest of you are too. My journey to publication is taking the next step this month with figuring out how to get through the first read through and then learning how to edit.

I hope to find some great books on the subject of editing to review and share with everyone. If any of you know of a good tool for editing fiction leave a comment. Even if it is just your prefered method I would love to hear it!

Many people do New Year Resolutions. Mine is to post something here every day. A little piece of advice, things I learned about writing or just a quick funny message. Not to mention I have to add to Werewolf Run! (I am working on the next installment! Have no fear!)

Well, I hope that all of you had a safe and Happy New Year and I look forward to giving more amature advice on writing as I learn!

Book Review: The Wine of Violence

I have never given a book review before outside of High School english so bare with me please.

The title: The Wine of Violence

The Author: James Morrow

The Publisher: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, New York. Printed in both US and Canada

Copyright James Morrow 1981

Genre: Sci Fi

 

Let me start by describing the book to you. It is older and hard covered in a black cardstock style paper with black binding. THe dust cover is but a memory and the writing on the spine is Teal Blue. The pages are starting to yellow at the edges and it smells like an old library does over time. (I love that smell, it smells like what I think knowledge would smell like if it had a scent). It is not a very big book. a little larger than your average paperback in heighth.

Inside the letters of the text are still clear and easy to read though not a very large font. There are 273 pages, though the last page is only about half filled with text.

Now on to the story itself.

It opens with our main character. A pudgy scientist on his way home. Francis Lostwax. Even his name is geeky right? He is that guy who got his head stuffed in the toilet and his lunch money stolen.

He and his fellow crew members find themselves stuck on a lost planet where human cannibals roam the deserts and a city of advanced pacifists live on the other side of a river of black acid sludge and a giant wall.

When the crew is saved, Lostwax suffers a head injury and one of the cannibals gets loose on the other side of wall going on a killing spree. his fellow crew member Burnes vows to the people that he will take care of the cannibal because they are incapable of physical violence.

Over the course of the story Lostwax falls in love and learns more about the people of the city of Quetzalia on the Planet Luta.

I do not want to go into any more detail, the book does a fantastic job on its own. The description that Morrow gives allows the book to play like a movie through your mind. The characters are vibrant and you find yourself engaged in their lives. The interesting ideas brought up by the storyline leave you thinking “What if…”

If you are looking for a new read, you can find this book on Amazon.com for a penny+shipping. The reviews are not stellar, but that is ok. This is my opinion on this book and if you are reading it then you must have at least some interest in what I have to say.

I did take a “Writing Sci Fi” class in High School and am very well read in both Sci Fi and Fantasy, so I think I can say with little doubt that if you enjoy both those, you will at the very least Like this book.

I would LOVE to see this book made in to a movie and have even fanfic started on a script at one point when I was younger.

Bonus blog

Tonight I am doing a “Bonus Blog” session. I usually blog to get into my own head and or the head of my MC in the evening, before writing. This morning I was able to jump into the writing and get a lot done, putting me about a day ahead, numbers wise.

Tonight you get a bonus blog because I am going to put more words in and this is my ritual of noveling.

I recently read a great article that was about blogging and how it should be about the reader. Engaging them in conversation and giving them a feeling of value. This is difficult for me at this point because I have no books in print therefore nothing to contribute other than my personal experience on the road of becoming a published author.

I would love feedback from those of you who take the time to read my words! I add snippets of story I am working on to entertain. I try to ask questions in my posts to get feedback from readers, but I think they may be coming across as rhetorical. I assure you they are not!

What I value most is information. The more I have the better things are in the long run. Knowledge really is power and the pen truly is mightier than the sword. Words carry on through the ages. Deeds are only remembered when written down.