Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Blog Hop: Chameleon by K.T. Hanna

Chameleon Releases Today!

CHAMELEON Domino Project Front with Text 2
"Wow! A fast-paced, science fiction delight with fabulous action, a seamless world, and the most unique characters I've read in a long time." Elana Johnson, Author of the Possession Series.

What I learned writing Chameleon:
How not to headhop
Actually – I didn’t learn this while writing Chameleon, I was simply far more aware of it during the whole process.
Yes, this was my other horrible weakness. You don’t want to see the 113k monstrosity (that I still secretly love and one day vow to resurrect in – coherent prose), with approximately seventeen (17 – yes, you read that right) different points of view that all blended together. Headhopped like a troop of kangaroos.
Once my dear CP pointed out that she wouldn’t read it past chapter three because the headhopping gave her headaches… I examined it – cringed – and went over it again. So when it came time to draft Chameleon, I was hyper aware of headhopping.
Not only do I (mostly) manage to avoid headhopping now, I can spot it at 50 paces. It’s become one of my pet peeves. Basically – being aware of the trainwreck of my previous manuscript made it easier to correct headhopping in Chameleon.
At least I’m pretty sure I got it all…

The Blurb:
When Sai's newly awoken psionic powers accidentally destroy her apartment complex, she’s thrown into an intensive training program. Her only options are pass or die.
Surviving means proving her continued existence isn't a mistake--a task her new mentor, Bastian, takes personally. Her abilities place her in the GNW Enforcer division, and partners her with Domino 12, who is eerily human for an alien-parasite psionic hybrid.
After eliminating an Exiled scientist, she discovers nothing is what it seems. With each mission more perilous, Sai must figure out who to trust before her next assignment becomes her last.
Available at:

Amazon | Kobo | iBooks | IndieBound

If you'd like a signed physical copy, Watermark Books has them in stock.

We're having a blog hop, and an e-card & mega swag Rafflecopter giveaway!
The blog hop stops are noted below. Each day has a different theme and you can find out about the process, the idea, and the evolution of Chameleon, and even a bit about K.T. by visiting each blog, when their posts go live.

4-Aug 5-Aug 6-Aug 7-Aug 10-Aug
Fun facts about the book What I learned writing Chameleon Author Interviews The world of Chameleon The Evolution of Chameleon
Manuel Soto Marlo Berliner Leatrice McKinney Rebecca Enzor Patricia Lynn
J Elizabeth Hill Stacey Trombley Dawn Allen Sharon Johnston Bex Montgomery
E.L. Wicker JC Davis Suzanne van Rooyen Mandy Baxter Madelyn Dyer
Jessie Mullins Andrew Patterson Heather Rebel Jessica Therrien Carissa Taylor
Emma Adams Lady Jai Elayna Noreme Kendra Young
I’m giving away e-cards of your choice from B&N, iTunes, & Amazon – one to the value of $25, and three to the value of $10! Each prize includes a swag pack of a magnet, sticker, bookmark, postcard, and mousepad!
Just follow the options listed on the giveaway and you'll be entered!full swag pack

About the Author

Me Squared
KT Hanna has a love for words so extreme, a single word can spark entire worlds.
Born in Australia, she met her husband in a computer game, moved to the U.S.A. and went into culture shock. Bonus? Not as many creatures specifically out to kill you.
When she's not writing, she freelance edits for Chimera Editing, interns for a NYC Agency, and chases her daughter, husband, corgis, and cat. No, she doesn't sleep. She is entirely powered by the number 2, caffeine, and beef jerky.
Note: Still searching for her Tardis

Saturday, August 1, 2015

LI832 -- Reflection Journal Week 10

So I'm stepping out of the format of the previous nine weeks. It's the end of the semester and I have read around 23+ books this summer. I wasn't able to keep up and this week's topic was non-fiction. I only read one of the books, Darkroom: A Memoir in Black and White by Lila Quintero Weaver. The other book I started, but then had to put down. It was The Freedom Summer Murders by Don Mitchell. Both books were amazingly written, but I think I hit the metaphorical wall. In addition both dealt with horrors closer to home than the Holocaust. I'm talking about the Civil Rights Movement.

An interesting article appeared recently. The study suggested that more Americans have been killed by White Supremacists than by Muslim Extremists since 9/11. Going back to the Civil Rights Movement makes the number of people killed a truly staggering number. In some ways that may be why I just couldn't finish the Freedom Summer Murders. It was the casual discussion of the murders by the people involved. There was no remorse.

It sickened me.

I couldn't read it anymore.

I had to stop.

Moving forward

This semester was brutal, to say the least. I have never struggled this hard in a class. I learned a lot and I have a list of books and movies I want to read and watch but I am glad this semester is over. I need a break.

That's all for now. I have other homework that needs my attention.

LI832 - Reflection Journal Week 9


Cart, Chapter 12
Fink, Chapter 7


The Arrival by Shaun Tan
The Complete Maus by Art Spiegelman
Black Butler, Vol. 1 by Yana Toboso


Howl's Moving Castle (2004)

Textbook *hides*


The Arrival by Shaun Tan

Tan could have written this book with text explaining the awe and fear of an immigrant arriving in a new world. Use language would have worked, but Tan decided to immerse the reader even more into the mind of the protagonist by using only pictures. This left all the dialog up to the reader.

We are as confused as the immigrant in this new world as he is. Language, words, customs, food, society. Everything is surreal and magical and sometimes overwhelming. Several times, he gives the reader the big picture with the protagonist barely larger than a dot on the page.

The Complete Maus by Art Spiegelman

This story is about Spiegelman's family and their struggles surviving Nazi Germany and the concentration camps. It is a hard story to read. Spiegelman uses animals instead of people. Mice represent the Jewish while Cats represent Germans.

The story is biographical and also autobiographical as Spiegelman wrestles with presenting the horrors of the Holocaust that does the memory of those who died justice as well as accurately representing how people act when their survival is the foremost on their mind.

Black Butler, Vol. 1 by Yana Toboso

I love the Anime that is based on this series. It's funny and at the same time dark. I've always resisted reading manga. Not because I don't like the subject, but it is difficult to adjust to the structure. Manga are translated from the original Japanese, and as a result, are read right to left, instead of the Western left to right. It took some time to adjust, but I did enjoy it. The other reason I haven't read them is that the are completely in black and white. However, that did not detract from the story at all.

Sebastian is one simply one hell of a Butler.


Howl's Moving Castle (2015)

Hayao Miyazaki is one of the best animators ever. His stories are always unique, magical, and beautiful. Howl's Moving Castle is one of those stories. I have watched a lot of his movies and have enjoyed every single one of them.

This story is about a young girl who is cursed by an evil witch to be an old woman after it is discovered that the young girl has met Howl (an enigmatic wizard of considerable power). She flees to Howl's castle where she meets a fire demon who powers the castle as well as Howl himself (who struggles to maintain his sanity and his humanity).

A beautiful, visually stunning movie with great voice acting.

LI832 - Reflection Journal Week 8

  • Cart, Chapters 10-11


These aren't the chapters you're looking for. Move along...


Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

I loved this story. I loved that these two people started as friends, struggled to maintain that friendship when Dante moved away, and then reinvent that friendship when he returned. It's a story about growing up and finding yourself and learning how love actually works.

I loved that the characters were diverse. Both Dante and Aristotle are Hispanic and SPOILER they are both gay. However, neither of these things are so overt that they interfere with the story which is about friends and discovering one's identity.

It's a good book and one that I have repeatedly recommended to people.

Beyond Magenta : Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin

I'm not usually one to read Non-fiction books, but this one was a subject I wanted to learn more about. Not only as a writer, but also because I have friends who fall outside of the binary gender spectrum and I wanted to understand them better.

One of the things I've learned is Gender does not equal Sex nor does either of those determine Sexual Orientation. Also, people who fall outside the typical binary concept are not broken or wrong. They are people just like you or me.

This book gave a very personal perspective of people who are outside that binary. Reading about their struggles in understanding themselves really opened my eyes. I would definitely encourage people to read this.

Ash by Melinda Lo

At it's core, this is a retelling of Cinderella. Except that the fairy godmother is a Fae prince who has fallen in love with a young witch, Ash. Oh, and Prince Charming doesn't get the girl. That isn't to say that this story doesn't have a Happily Ever After. It does. But the story has a lot of depth and sometimes the boy doesn't get the girl. The girl gets the girl.

Also, be careful when making deals with seductive Fae princes. They have their own agenda and only their interests in mind.

I loved this story. The evil stepmother and step sisters were not nice people, which is to be expected. So it's a fairy tale with a big twist...or two.


The Fault in Our Stars (2015)

This is supposedly an amazing film. Unfortunately, I haven't watched it yet. Mostly, I was too busy reading. You'd think it would be easier to watch a movie than read, but not for me it seems.

LI832 - Reflection Journal Week 7

  • Cart, Chapter 9
  • Fink, Chapter 6


Sigh. All the failure.

Moving on.


Charm & Strange by Stephanie Kuehn


Charm and Strange is charming and very strange. Ok, maybe not so charming. It's actually very dark and sinister. Andrew Winters is plagued by his past and by the monster that lurks deep within him.

He's a werewolf...

Or is he?

I always enjoy an unreliable narrator. And Andrew's view of the world is off kilter at best. He's lost, alone, and carrying a dark secret within him. He thinks he's a werewolf and projects that over how he interacts with people and the world. According to him, his entire family are werewolves.

Except in this case, his wolf is hiding something horrible.

I can only describe the twist in this story as a "gut punch." When I figured it out (prior to the reveal) it turned my stomach. A wolf doesn't have to walk on four legs. Sometimes it walks on two and preys on the young.

Ultimately, this story is about surviving trauma and moving forward. It's a good read, but will leave you feeling uncomfortable.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

Despite its lighthearted title, this story packs a punch. It delves deep into the issues of what Native Americans have struggled with for a long time. The loss of culture, their home, and their spirituality. This story was so authentic sounding, I honestly thought it was autobiographical.

Arnold Spirit is an outcast in some ways from his own tribe. He's different. He has hydrocephalus, is small for his age, stutters, and wants to go to a school off the reservation. He wants more. He wants a better life.

Unfortunately, that means being ostracized by his tribe and his best friend because he wants to attend a predominantly white school. Arnold struggles with his own identity as he works to integrate into a different culture, while at the same time, maintaining his connection to his people.

The story is often self-depreciating, but in a way that I've seen in the Native American culture. But through it all, there is a sense of optimism. And in the end, he somehow manages to become his own person and yet not lose his connection to family and friends. 

Beneath a Meth Moon by Jacqueline Woodson

I've been told that Woodson is a "controversial" author. I generally don't pay attention to such things unless the controversy involves, racism or sexism.

Beneath a Meth Moon is a story of addiction. Told from the perspective of Laurel, a girl who had every thing and ended up an addict. It's a harsh tale of the desperate struggle to survive when all you want is "the moon."

Once again we have an unreliable narrator and the structure of the story bounces around as it drags you deeper into the addiction. Time losing meaning. I described it to someone as feeling like I was on meth (not that I know what that's like), but the jarring back and forth and wandering reality/fantasy just grabbed onto me.

I probably would never have read this book if it hadn't been for this class. I seriously loved it. It isn't an easy read. But I think it was a very accurate portrayal of the descent into addiction and the struggle to climb out.


Juno (2007)

"It all started with that chair."

This movie was zany, sarcastic, and full of heart. Juno decides to lose her virginity and ends up pregnant. The father? Her social awkward friend.

Despite it's goofy dialog there is a very strong message here. Juno decides against an abortion when a classmate declares that after so many weeks, the fetus has "fingernails." Instead, Juno decides to give up the baby to a family that can't have children.

It isn't cut and dried. She struggles with the stigma of teenage pregnancy and the consequences of it all. In addition, the adoptive family has it's own issues that threaten the adoption.

In the end, Juno makes a heartbreakingly difficult decision, but one that was in the best interests of her child. So, in a way, it's about empowerment and making the right, and non-selfish, decisions. Ultimately, she made the decision on her own, but her family, and the child's father, supported her in a way that I think a lot of people should, but don't always.

LI832 - Reflection Journal Week 6

  • Cart, Chapter 8
  • Fink, Chapter 5
  • None


At this point, I have essentially given up on even attempting to read the textbook. Although I only had two books to read this week, I was already behind in reading the books from the previous weeks. It is a pity because the Cart textbook was interesting. For those following along, I have read only the first three chapters.


Ready Player One by Ernest Cline


And a heavy dose of existential disappointment...

I wanted to like this book. I really want to like this book. Not only did it reference 80s pop culture (which I grew up with) but it also tied into my love for video gaming and immersive MMORPGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games for those who don't know what I'm talking about or have been living under a rock). Unfortunately, in attempt to build off of that nostalgia, Cline ruined a good concept.

Yes, I said ruined.

The first thing we find out, is that our intrepid hero goes from zero to hero. He mentions it in the first chapter. Then the author spends the next several chapters info dumping. I was reading it on my kindle and I was 30% or more into the novel before the actual story started. I wish I was kidding. In addition to this blob of writing muck, none of it was really that important to the story. Yes, I'm serious. Cline spends 1/3 of his book tell us all about the inventor of this huge virtual reality world and how he was this awesome person, etc.


This is a consistent problem in scifi it seems. In an effort to introduce the reader to the world, the writer ends up spending too much time describing everything. Yes, the world Cline created was awesome. Yes, the story was interesting (if you skipped all the info dump), but ultimately, I was bored. What's worse? After all that build up? The ending was meh. The final fight had no sense of urgency. Wade and his fellow heroes end up with these uber OP (over powered for the non-MMO crowd) weapons/ships that totally kick ass without any real danger (despite the bad guys supposedly having super powerful constructs of their own). So big fight isn't that big. Yes, every player in the virtual universe shows up, but well, the fight is pretty quick. Not to mention a heavy dose of Deus Ex Machina to make sure the good guys win.

And of course, the good guy has to face off Mano e Mano with the bad guy...

Or does he?

Not really. Good guy, with the help of his friends and his unlimited knowledge of 80s pop culture and mad retro arcade skills, ends up doing all the "challenging" puzzles with ease. Then he wins and gets the omnipotent uber avatar. Which is ok, but eh. Oh that's right, he isn't the only one with it. The game's co-creator also has on uber omnipotent avatar...but he doesn't help out even though the bad guys could potentially win and get TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS AND TOTAL CONTROL OF THE VIRTUAL WORLD...but you know, he doesn't want to interfere with how his friend "wanted the game to work."

In all, Ready Player One was a major disappointment. Great world building, decent characters, and the story is pretty good when you aren't getting info overload. It could have been amazing, except it wasn't. I would suggest reading City of Golden Shadow by Tad Williams instead.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

I have wanted to read this book since it came out. Having read it, I am glad I finally got a chance. Neil Gaiman is a superb story teller. This story is so amazing and heartbreakingly beautiful. As I writer, I hope to achieve this level of ability.

I probably won't.

Gaiman wanted to prove that you could write a complete story in 50K words.

He did.

So, yes, I'm gushing. I'm a fan of his writing and him as a person. I'm biased. But it's easy to be biased about his writing.

Gaiman does a wonderful job of weaving the fantastical into reality in such away that all disbelief is suspended. You believe that there is an Ocean that looks like a pond. You believe that there is an evil force that wants to destroy everything...except it isn't evil so much as lost...but that's a bit spoilery. ;-)

No punches are pulled though. This story can be pretty intense, but all the while shown through the eyes of a 9 year old boy. Which is pretty impressive. It's hard for an author to convince a reader that we are in a young child, but he pulls it off very well.

And the end. Oh the word? PERFECTION.

I only read books once (usually) because I remember them too much. I will need to buy a copy for my shelves. It's that amazing.