Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Winning awards-- Real Book Awards

I've been stalking the website since the beginning of November when they announced that they'd announce the winners "Mid-November". Let me just say, that since November has 30 days, one would think they would post the winners on Nov. 15. But alas, I had to wait a whole extra day until the 16th to discover that AT WHAT COST was chosen as a finalist in the 'Youth Issues' category. YIPPIE!

The contest was the 2012 USA Book News annual contest.

And my book was a finalist! Isn't that awesome? Now I can officially say that it is an award winning finalist or that I'm an award winning author. The whole idea is foreign to me, but I'm appreciative anyway.

I feel like celebrating. Wanna join me? Great, just talk up the book and enter through the Rafflecopter below.

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Monday, November 26, 2012

Top Ten Reasons NOT to Write-- George Clever.

We're back with a second installment of the TOP TEN REASONS (excuses) WHY NOT TO WRITE. This time we have my friend, George Clever from the Sinclairville Write Circle with us. For those of you who know George, you'll know he has a unique sense of humor, so some of these reasons may be lost on you without the aid of his glorious explanations. However, we can't have it all all the time. So, enjoy George's excuses anyway.

Ten Reasons Why I Can’t
                                                        Won’t                Write!
By George Clever the un-writer

1.)                All my pencils are broken and I can’t find a pen.
2.)                I have writer’s block.  Where is the writer’s  Draino?
3.)                My composition teacher told me I was not good at it.
4.)                There is a 2,000 pound elephant sitting on my keyboard.
5.)                Everything worth writing about has been written.
6.)                Writers must write perfectly.  Only God does that.
7.)                I can’t SPEL Goodd.
8.)                What if I became a famous writer?  I would hate that!
9.)                My “to do” list is very long today.
10.)            I get lonely sitting by myself when I write.  

By the way, you can pick up George's book on Amazon.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Top Ten Reasons Not to Write: Doris Richardson

Recently in my writers group, The Write Circle, we got to chatting about all the excuses we make to not write. So, in George's infinite wisdom, he made that the assignment for the following week. When we returned the next week, for the first time, everyone had done the assignment! Granted, I did mine as I was sitting there because I didn't have time during the week. I mean, I have a baby and a house to clean and Christmas shopping to do...oh, wait, those sound like excuses.

Anyway, I told the group if they sent me their top ten, I'd post them once a week on my blog. Doris was the first to respond. Doris always shows us all up. She writes more than anyone I know and that's between the millions of other things she does that would easily give her an excuse to set the writing aside. So Doris has become our inspiration. If Doris can write despite all the other things she does, surely we can get a few words down on paper.

So I leave you with Doris's thoughts on her top ten reason not to write.

Ten Reasons Why I Can’t Write
By Doris Richardson

  1. I don’t have time.
      I’m working almost every day and housework and spiritual responsibilities plus a lot of other things.  My plate is full enough. After all, I am supposed to be retired.

  1. I don’t have the ability.
      I write because I enjoy it and feel compelled to do it, not because I’m a great writer.

  1. I haven’t done anything worthy of writing about.
      What I’ve done has been for the Lord, not for people to pat me on the back.

  1. I’m lazy.
      I require five or six hours of sleep a night.  Can’t navigate as well on less.
( Ed. Note: Five or six? That's a nap for me!)

  1. I don’t always feel like it.
      I discipline myself to do what I should, not what I feel like.

  1. I don’t know what to write.
      That is occasionally true of an assignment, especially if it is abstract in nature and requires more imagination that I possess.

  1. Nobody will read it anyway.
    Yes, there is great satisfaction in writing but why write if no one is going to take the time or have the interest to read it?

  1. There are too many interferences.
      I start writing and the phone rings or my husband starts talking to me or I have to do this or that.  So my best concentration is after midnight when I’m suppose to be sleeping.      

  1. I have arthritis in my hand.
      Yeah, but it is under control and my hand works just fine.

  1. People will take what I say and misconstrue it to mean something contrary to what I intend.

            There are ten reasons why I can’t write.  But why am I looking at all these negatives?  “I CAN do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13), so away with all the reasons.  I can and will write.

Thanks, Doris, for being an inspiration to all of us. 

If any of you writer-type would like to set a spot on the Top Ten. Please contact me. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Defy The Stars--Stephanie Parent--review

Defy the Stars Blurb:
Julia Cape: A dedicated classical piano student just trying to get through her last semester of high school while waiting to hear from music conservatories. 

Reed MacAllister: A slacker more likely to be found by the stoners’ tree than in class.

Julia and Reed might have graduated high school without ever speaking to each other…until, during a class discussion of Romeo and Juliet, Julia scoffs at the play’s theme of love at first sight, and Reed responds by arguing that feelings don’t always have to make sense. Julia tries to shake off Reed’s comment and forget about this boy who hangs with the stoner crowd—and who happens to have breathtaking blue eyes—but fate seems to bring the two together again and again. After they share an impulsive, passionate kiss, neither one can deny the chemistry between them. Yet as Julia gets closer to Reed, she also finds herself drawn into his dark world of drugs and violence. Then a horrific tragedy forces Julia’s and Reed’s families even farther apart…and Julia must decide whether she’s willing to give up everything for love.

DEFY THE STARS is written in an edgy free-verse style that will appeal to fans of Ellen Hopkins and Lisa Schroeder; however, the writing is accessible enough to speak to non-verse fans as well. The novel’s combination of steamy romance and raw emotion will appeal to fans of Gayle Forman, Simone Elkeles, Jennifer Echols, and Tammara Webber. With a story, language and form that both pay homage to and subvert Shakespeare’s play, DEFY THE STARS is much more than just another Romeo and Juliet story.

This novel contains mature language and themes, including drug use.

My Review: 
Over the few days it took me to read Defy the Stars, the book became like a drug to me. Each moment away had me itching for more of the high. Granted I had to take breaks to do things like, *Gasp* feed my children or *sigh* shower. But if I could have avoided those things, I would have in order to get the next fix of this book.
Defy the Stars is a beautifully written, poetic interpretation of the classic Romeo and Juliet story. The flow of the writing is flawless and draws the reader into the story. These real, raw characters are beautifully flawed, creating people we as readers can relate to. Despite depiction of drug use in this book, we love and understand these characters. We want these characters to grow, to learn, and every time they fail, we urge them to get back up and fight again.
One of the things I was the most impressed with was the connections to Shakespeare’s masterpiece. Now, someone could have come along and twisted the original story and come up with a less than impressive knock off, but Ms. Parent weaves the story into her own, creating something beautifully impressive. It is by no means a knock off. She makes the story her own and in reading Defy the Stars, we forget that we’re reading an interpretation of the Bard’s story. Yet, when I finished and began a few notes for this post, I began to realize just how closely she was able to tie in bits and pieces of the original play. From the apotheCARY, to the beloved cousin/uncle, to the banishment of Romeo, all pieces that are skillfully played by Ms. Parent. Upon finishing this book, I want to now go back to my English studies from college and reread Romeo and Juliet. I think if I do, I’d see even more connections that Parent slipped in under the radar.
This is one of the most amazing books I’ve read in a long time. Parent has found a new fan in me.
5/5 stars.


 Be sure to go back and check out the rest of the tour.

 Author Info:
Stephanie Parent is a YA author repped by Brenda Bowen of Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. She is a graduate of the Master of Professional Writing program at USC and attended the Baltimore School for the Arts as a piano major.

Giveaway Info:
1st prize: $30 gift card from Amazon and a e-book copy of Defy the Stars.
2nd place: 4 e-book copies of Defy the Stars.
Additional Prize: A query letter critique by Stephanie Parent.
All giveaways are open internationally!

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