Wednesday, September 25, 2013

I Like Banned Books and I Cannot Lie

Banned book week is almost half over and I should probably comment on it. Not only am I an avid reader, I'm also a librarian, and I'm author. I've grown up with books. One time I read 10,000 pages in six months (that was before kids, highspeed internet, and twitter). The fact that anyone would ban a book annoys and saddens me. Reading increases knowledge and understanding. Yes, some of the books on the list have words/concepts that might be offensive. However, I think if you really break it down, you'll realize that any book can theoretically offend someone to the point were they wish to "ban" it from influencing anyone else.

It's sad.

The only thing banning books accomplishes is to degrade a population's ability to think critically and creatively. This is why the printing press was outlawed for so long. An educated population made it difficult for the current regimes to exert their control. This isn't anti-government, it's the truth.

The only purpose to ban books is to control a population. It has nothing to do with morals or offensive language/themes. They don't make people want to do bad things, say bad things, or think bad things. Life does that all on it's own. Books are a way to escape reality and sometimes deal with issues that would be uncomfortable to understand outside of the context of fiction. At the same time, books can give people an awareness of the world that they wouldn't normally get.

Want to know what it's like to be bullied without getting stuffed in a locker yourself?

Read a book.

Want to go on amazing adventure where you go from living in a closet under the stairs to being the one person who can stand up to ultimate evil?

Read a book.

Want to have a happily ever after even though your own life is lonely?

Read a book.

If you want to see what the world looks like without books?

Read Fahrenheit 451 by Ray's also a banned book. Coincidence?

Let's talk about all the Banned books that shaped America. Books like Huckleberry Finn, or even the Autobiography of Malcom X. Don't forget that seditious story Where the Wild Things Are. Don't want to fill our kids minds with stories about things that aren't real or show them what life was like for an African-American in the 1960s. Or what it was like in America before the Civil War. You know, because those things are wrong.

Of course, one of my favorites on the list is the the Bible. You know, that symbol of Christianity? The one that defines the Christian religion?

Wait. Did you say the Bible was a banned book?

Yup. There have been versions of it banned throughout history for one reason or another. In most cases that I was able to find, it was a matter of how it was translated. I found this article from 2011, somewhat interesting. I haven't done further research, but it's fascinating.

If you want to know more about banned books, click the banner at the top of the page with the banned books logo and it'll take you to their site.

Here is a list of the banned books from the "Banned books that shaped America" list that I remember reading. There were a couple I think I read, but can't remember. So, I haven't added them.
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  • Beloved by Toni Morrison
  • The Call of the Wild by Jack London
  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  • The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
  • The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
  • Moby-Dick; or The Whale by Herman Melville
  • The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
What banned books have you read?

Now onto my goals for the month (not associated with Banned Books week).
  1. Do the homework assigned to me by my Mentor Agent regarding HJ. DONE!!
  2. Revise HJ based on Homework.  IN PROGRESS. Figured out my plot. Just a matter now of making the changes. Up to chapter 9 (which used to be later in the book).
  3. Take what I learned and apply it to my current WIP if I have time.  Probably won't get this done, but we'll see.
  4. Blog once a week. Yes
  5. Cheer on my twitter and #writemotivation friends. Totally!

'Till Next Time

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Cover Reveal: East of Ecstasy by Laura Kaye

So, I got distracted and forgot to post this at 12:01 am like I was supposed to. In other words, I forgot to write up the post and then schedule it because there is no way I'm staying awake that late. Even if I think the author is an awesome person. :D

So, today I get to help show off the cover of Laura Kaye's newest book East of Ecstasy. I've followed Laura on twitter for a while and I can say she is an sweet, wonderful person (in addition to being a bestselling romance author).

About Laura Kaye:

Laura is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over a dozen books in paranormal and contemporary romance. Growing up, Laura’s large extended family believed in the supernatural, and family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses cemented in Laura a life-long fascination with storytelling and all things paranormal. She lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.

So, with all that build-up, I'm guessing you'll want to see the cover.






About East of Ecstasy:

Annalise Fallston made peace with postponing her big-city dreams to care for her ill father, but lately she’s been filled with a restlessness not even her beloved painting dispels. Worse, the colors don’t speak to her as they always have, and all her efforts produce dark, foreboding images of a dangerous man and a terrifying future.

Devlin Eston, black-souled son of the evil Anemoi Eurus, is the only one who can thwart his father’s plan to overthrow the Supreme God of Wind and Storms. But first, Dev must master the unstable powers he’s been given. Distrusted and shunned by his own divine family, he never expected to find kindness and passion in the arms of a mortal.

But Devlin’s love puts Annalise in the path of a catastrophic storm, and in the final Armageddon showdown between the Anemoi and Eurus, sacrifices will be made, hearts broken, and lives changed forever…or lost.

Books in Series:
North of Need
West of Want
South of Surrender

'Till Next Time

Friday, September 13, 2013

Cover Reveal: EVADE by Jessa Russo

If you haven't noticed, I like cover reveals. Not because they are easy (not necessarily because I don't have to come up with content...usually), but because I love promoting other authors. It helps if I like the story (which in this case I do).

Anyway, Jessa is a sweet person and writes a fascinating and sweet story in her first novel EVER. Where a girl falls in love with the ghost of her best friend. Now we have the sequel titled EVADE. The cover to EVER was gorgeous. The cover to EVADE is better.


So, how about that cover...




In this thrilling sequel, Ever Van Ruysdael's race to beat the odds—and the clock—begins with the introduction of an integral part of her past. As secrets are revealed, and truths uncovered, she learns her imminent death is the least of her problems: Ariadne did more than just put an expiration date on her life; she marked Ever's soul by upping its value for greedy collectors looking to buy their freedom.

Condemned by the countdown on her life, and hunted by hired Seekers, Ever’s journey leads her to question everything she’s known and everyone she’s trusted, while growing closer to the one person from her past she was determined to avoid—and the one guy she never could—Toby James.

With her ex-boyfriend by her side, and the countdown clock rapidly ticking away, Ever tries thwarting fate’s plans. But as her nineteenth birthday approaches, and desperate Seekers follow her every move, she may be too late.


GRAB A COPY OF EVER: Book One of The EVER Trilogy!

Cover Photo: Face On By Tamara Website | Facebook | Twitter 
Cover Design: Blue Sky Designs / Michelle Johnson Illustrations Website

What do you guys think?

'Till Next Time.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Cleaning House and September 2013 #writemotivation Update

So the first week of September has come and gone and I have finished my homework for my awesome mentor. And I've learned something.

Having two antagonists with two separate agendas and that are not working together can really confuse things.
Yup. I did it.  And this is why Nicole said this:
Where is the plot? I think this is the biggest element that I struggle with. I kept looking for the hook, the moment where the problem would be presented and I'd follow the hero on his journey to overcome it. However, there is no clear plot.
You're hero should have one defined goal. Yes, you can have multiple bad guys, but they have to work together against the hero. Yes, they can have their own agendas, but if your protagonist has to split between struggling against two separate camps, it's going to get confusing.

So, I'm cutting a character arc. The character will still be there and involved, but not with the same focus. The character is more of a symptom of my main character's life and not the cause of it.

I have direction.

I have committed atrocities to my plot using a dull chainsaw and have duct taped the tattered remains together. And I've started rewriting. And when I'm done, it'll be (hopefully) prettier than when I started.

The other thing I've learned is that Sick Puppies is the perfect soundtrack to writing this story. I thought I had a good soundtrack, but then I heard "My World" by Sick Puppies and I knew.

Goals for the month:

  1. Do the homework assigned to me by my Mentor Agent regarding HJ. DONE!!
  2. Revise HJ based on Homework.  IN PROGRESS
  3. Take what I learned and apply it to my current WIP if I have time.  Probably won't get this done, but we'll see.
  4. Blog once a week. Yes
  5. Cheer on my twitter and #writemotivation friends. Totally!

'Till Next Time

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Committing Atrocities on my Plot

So it's the beginning of the month of September. I have goals for this month. Goals that I hope to actually accomplish (unlike the last couple months of flailing).

Anyway, I've been plotting and planning the demise of my somewhat vague plot based on the homework my mentor suggested I do. I call it homework, but it isn't really. It was helpful and eye opening.

Anyway, I was talking to one of my betas and was all "What if..." and she was all, "YES!". So now I'm waiting to see what my CP thinks *nudges CP*. But, while I'm waiting, I'm warming up the chainsaw to do some evisceration on my plot. It will be very revvy and eviceration-y.

The problem with my plot was it was too much. I had too much and it confused the reader as to what they were supposed to be focusing on. By the way, this is fine with thrillers and you want to confuse things, but not so good when you are writing a contemporary story about a kid dealing with the crap in his life and trying to keep his head above water.

So, like Bruce Campbell, I'll be a chainsaw, boomstick wielding freak of nature on a rampage against the deadite words in my manuscript.


And then, when I've finished, I will be all...

 And I'll send it off to my betas, my CP and ultimately my mentor and be all...

So there you have it.

Goals for the month:
  1. Do the homework assigned to me by my Mentor Agent regarding HJ. DONE!!
  2. Revise HJ based on Homework
  3. Take what I learned and apply it to my current WIP if I have time
  4. Blog once a week
  5. Cheer on my twitter and #writemotivation friends

'Till Next Time.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Cover Reveal: UNREAP MY HEART by Kate Evangelista

Once more I have the distinct pleasure of showing off another cover for the amazingly talented, Kate Evangelista. Not only is she a talented author, she has been blessed with some of the most amazing covers I have ever seen.

There is also a giveaway!!!

Now, as this is the second book in the series, I want to show off the first cover too...because it is gorgeous.

Ever since a near-death-experience on the operating table, seventeen-year-old Arianne Wilson can see dead people. Just as she’s learned to accept her new-found talents, she discovers that the boy she’s had a crush on since freshman year, Niko Clark, is a Reaper.

At last they have something in common, but that doesn’t mean life is getting any easier. All while facing merciless bullying from the most powerful girl in school, Arianne’s world is turned upside down after Niko accidentally reaps the soul of someone she loves. This sends them both into a spiral that threatens to end Arianne’s life. But will Niko break his own Reaper’s code to save her? And what would the consequences be if he did?

And now for the cover...

Which is awesome....

Only a villain can save the day.

During his thousand year banishment in the Nethers, Balthazar thought of nothing but taking over the Crossroads from Death.

On the day he puts his plans into action, Balthazar finds the Crossroads on lockdown. Death has been stabbed by Brianne’s Bitterness, a blade that slowly leaches him of his powers. In order to challenge Death for his seat and prevent utter chaos, Balthazar is forced into a mission to find the Redeemer, the only being capable of pulling out the blade from Death’s chest. The only person who can identify the Redeemer is a human girl in the Crossroads whose soul is still attached to her body.

Meeting Arianne Wilson pushes Balthazar’s patience to the limit. In a deal he makes with Death, he must protect Arianne during their journey through the Underverse using all the resources available to him. He soon realizes the one he needs to protect is himself. For as much harm as it inflicts on Balthazar's body, trekking through the Underverse with Arianne is proving more dangerous for his heart and soul.

Can the villain remain a villain when love gets in the way?
Buy it on Amazon
Check it out on Goodreads
Book Trailer
Fan Book Trailer

a Rafflecopter giveaway