Life hasn’t always been easy for Kriffle the Flidderbug. For as long as Kriffle can remember, the Quadrigon tribe has always had control of Krephiloff Tree’s Shears, which means that the Triplifers, Kriffle’s own tribe, has had to deal with an overgrowth of leaves on his side of the tree. Once Kriffle has been nominated to become the Triplifers’ new leader and take over from his father, he realizes the ’bugs have even bigger problems. Continue reading
I’m so excited to announce that tomorrow, I’ll be featured in an author interview on the fabulous Morgen Bailey’s website. You can visit her website here (http://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/blog-interviews/) and learn more about her and also read some of the fantastic author interview’s she’s done.
Today’s post is short because I’m going to spend some quality time with Merrick and Lorena. I’ll be posting an interview with Lorena soon and hopefully will be able to post an excerpt from the book in a few weeks too. Happy writing!
Recently a friend, who was planning to get her mom an eReader for her birthday, asked me which eReader device I thought was the best. Those of you who know me or who have read my earlier posts know that I’m an eBook and eReader fanatic, so you won’t be surprised when I tell you that I ended up writing her a three-page e-mail about the pros and cons of three of the biggest devices on the market right now.
The more I thought about our conversation, the more curious I became about why people choose the eReader devices they use. I’m a big fan of my Sony, but I know several other readers who are just as happy with their Nooks and Kindles. All have their benefits and things that make them unique, so, how does an eBook convert decide on which device will benefit her the best? Kindle has been on the market the longest, but Nook has a color option, and Sony, Kindle, and Nook all offer wi-fi options for some of their devices. Plus, many indie publishers, such as Smashwords, offer eBook downloads for all devices—PDF, mobi (for Kindle), lrf (for Sony), and more.
So if the devices are all comparable and you can download the same books from the same websites and eBook stores, what makes one device stand out over another? The advice I gave my friend was to decide what kind of reading her mom wanted to do and pick one based on that. For example, if she liked to read a lot of magazines or children’s books to her grandkids, she may want to go with the color Nook because it can display pictures as you would see them in print. But if she would rather read novels that didn’t have pictures (or where black-and-white shots didn’t matter), Sony might be her best bet. And if she’s a fan of having a keyboard, she would likely enjoy a Kindle.
Regardless of what you pick, there are a lot of excellent options on the market right now. Just make sure to do some research on each device before you decide so that you know a little bit about all your options.
Imagine finding yourself in a situation where you’re trying to save someone’s life, only to find that while doing so, your young daughter is kidnapped from the scene. In Cruelty to Innocents, the first installment of the 911 Abduction Series, authors CK Webb and DJ Weaver paint a thrilling and scary picture of a monster who preys on Good Samaritans. Citizens of Aberdeen, Maryland, the small community where security is normally taken for granted, are forced to question everything they once held dear as police race against time to stop a serial kidnapper on the loose.
One of the things I loved most about this novel was how well the story seemed to flow. The plot was well developed and propelled itself forward, making the story very easy to follow. The only thing I wish the authors had explained more about was what Sloanne would decide to do with the rest of the money she kept from Mr. Miera’s estate—but I suspect that we’ll learn more about that in books to come.
I was also impressed with how believable the characters were. Each one had his or her own backstory and their relationships were strong and realistic throughout the storyline. The POV changed within a few main characters, but the changes didn’t feel sudden or unnecessary. Each time the POV changed, it helped moved the storyline forward with information that we didn’t have before.
Although I had my suspicions about the culprit from the beginning, Cruelty to Innocents kept me hooked until the very end to see if I was right. Webb and Weaver have a great writing style, and I can’t wait to see more from these authors.
NOTE: To help support CK Webb and DJ Weaver in their Cruelty to Innocents blog tour, I’m giving away a copy of this book. If you would like to be entered into this giveaway contest, please leave a comment below. Don’t forget to leave your e-mail address so that I can contact you if you win!
Imagine a world that is so rushed, so busy, that its people are constantly plagued by nightmares and insomnia. These issues are so commonplace that people regularly take sleeping aids and other pills that rob them of their dreamlives. If you found yourself in that situation, how far would you go to ensure that you could dream again? Would you subscribe to a nightly “dreambeam” session, where dreamweavers enabled you to sleep through the night and replaced your nightmares with pleasant dreams?
The Final Dream begins when we meet Brian Drury, one of the three billion people who subscribe to Yosef Iones (the most popular dreamweaver in business), pondering over the previous night’s dream. For Brian and others like him, the previous night’s dreams were some of the most intense that he had experienced, but they ended in a cliffhanger. Although some subscribers aren’t happy with Iones’s choice, grumbling statements like “Why can’t Iones just stick to what he’s best at?” and “It would have been the greatest Starrytale ever if he’d finished what he started,” as usual, they tune in again the following night for what they hope will be the conclusion of the dream.
Instead, subscribers are faced with three consecutive nights of nightmares so horrific that they permanently change subscribers’ lives. Some people quit their jobs; others commit suicide. The media and representatives from Iones’s organization attempt to spin the nightmares as technical difficulties and assure their subscribers that they’re working out the problems. But Brian doesn’t believe them, and the truth that he discovers may be a nightmare come true.
One of the things I love the most about Daniel Pearlman’s story is the realistic elements of it. Although the book itself is sci-fi, I could easily see our society heading down this path, where people subscribe to dreamcasts as easily as they subscribe to cable television. I wonder what the long-term effects of something like this would be and how it would change our reality. Would we ever be able to function without it? Would we eventually become so dependent on maintaining our blissful, dream-like state that we would request to be left in our dream worlds permanently? I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves science fiction.
I didn’t really have much on my mind to share today, so I thought I’d treat you with something a little different. As those of you who follow me on Twitter or Goodreads know, I’m currently revising my first novel and am planning to publish it in early fall. I haven’t published any excerpts from the manuscript yet, but I wanted to share the synopsis with you. The excerpts will be coming soon.
Merrick Maples and the Legend of the Lost Stone
Thirteen-year-old Merrick Maples is having the worst summer of his life. First, his parents send him and his twin sister, Lorena, to stay with their crazy old aunt for three weeks while they go away on an orchestra tour. Then, their aunt forces them to help with home improvement projects the whole time they’re there—like painting the porch and cleaning the attic. But when Merrick and Lorena find an old emerald necklace in the attic that transports them to a world called Eulana, they realize that there is more to their aunt than what meets the eye.
Now, Merrick and his sister must escape the clutches of a dark elf named Beza, who is convinced the twins have information that could lead him to a legendary stone that gives its owner great power and immortality. Armed only with the emerald necklace and a strange book that won’t open, Merrick and Lorena must learn to set aside their differences to battle pirates and avoid enslavement on the high seas if they ever want to get home.
Fans of Bridge to Terabithia and The Magician’s Nephew alike will fall in love with Merrick Maples and the Legend of the Lost Stone.
When someone mysteriously steals the sky and replaces it with a stone ceiling, Sampietro Mischief is immediately on the case. He watches as the world as we know it changes from a sunny, blue-skied planet to one of permanent nightfall. Although several attempts are made to break through the stone ceiling to find the sunlight on the other side, none are successful. Instead, Earthlings discover that the ceiling is fragile, and they erect hundreds of stone columns, many of which they paint sky blue, to help support its weight.
The concept that someone could steal the sky and melt it down into liquid was fascinating to me. I didn’t realize “the sky” meant the entire universe until the characters broke through the ceiling to find the Earth moon encased in it too. I realized how different our lives would become if we didn’t have access to sunlight any more. One could only imagine that panic and chaos would ensue until people learned how to live in this new world.
I also found Sampietro Mischief’s monster servant, Chives, hilarious. His constant grumbling about doing household chores and even his decision to create a duplicate Chives all made him a unique and humorous character.
The one issue I had with this story was the ending. Although they were able to catch the culprit responsible for stealing the sky, I kept hoping for more resolution with the situation–such as replacing the ceiling with something else or putting the sky back where it belonged. As a reader, I felt like the author left me hanging a little bit.
That aside, I would still recommend this story to those who enjoy science fiction. It was a fun read, and concept itself was very original and interesting.
When Neville Lansdowne falls off the world, it isn’t the end of his adventures. In fact, it’s only the beginning. The world has begun moving too quickly for Neville’s tastes, so he decides to fall off—or, rather, “let go” of it—and start over. Once Neville leaves the world, he finds himself in an asteroid field and quickly discovers that he’s not alone. Others have also let go of the world and established new colonies for themselves on the asteroids. The only downfall is that each new person Neville meets seems to be completely insane.
As Neville interacts with his new neighbors and tries to find a place to call home, he soon discovers that the asteroid belt has troubles of its own. Because the world is spinning so fast, it will soon fly off its orbit, destroying any asteroid in its path. The only solution is for Neville to gather his new friends and stop the world before it obliterates the asteroid belt.
It’s easy to find metaphors between the groups Neville meets and real-life people in today’s society. Gould’s Lewis Carroll-like writing style presents the asteroid dwellers in a humorous light that will appeal to readers of all ages. I found myself cheering on Neville and his team, and would recommend Doodling to anyone who enjoys a fun read.
Jonathan Gould has been writing for fifteen years and has authored two children’s books that were released in Australia. Doodling is his first eBook and is currently available through Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Doodling-ebook/dp/… and Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/411… From now until the end of April, you can purchase Doodling on both sites for $0.99. You can check out his blog at daglit.blogspot.com or follow him on Twitter.
In the last couple of weeks, we’ve seen an indie author accept a huge traditional publishing deal (http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/24/self-publisher-signs-four-book-deal-with-macmillan/), and we’ve also seen a traditional publishing author turn down a deal in favor of self-publishing (http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/2011/03/ebooks-and-self-publishing-dialog.html). Both of these announcements have caused quite a stir in the writing community and on the Internet, which, of course, has encouraged new arguments in the indie/traditional publishing debate. Some have said that Hocking is a sellout for accepting a traditional publishing deal and have applauded Eisler for turning down his offer.
I understand why emotions run high on both sides of this argument, but I think that calling someone a sellout is a bit extreme. Hocking did what she felt was best for her career. I can’t say that I agree—after all, she did most of the hard work by creating a fan base and platform and selling over a million dollars worth of copies without the support of a traditional publisher—but it’s her career and her decision. After conquering the indie side of the business, I can see how one would be interested in working with the traditional side to get a well-rounded feel for the industry as a whole.
So, at the risk of starting an argument, how do you feel about these developments? Was Hocking’s decision to go traditional a good one? How about Eisler’s decision to go indie? If you could trade places with them, would you have made the same decisions?
Imagine finding yourself in a desperate situation—perhaps even a matter of life or death—but you have no way to resolve the problem. Suddenly, as if sent from heaven, a Good Samaritan appears and says that he and his friends can help. All they require from you is a small monetary payment and a single object, a “keepsake,” from your home. Would you refuse?
But once the job is completed, how would you react if the one object they take is the thing you treasure above all others—a family heirloom, your wedding pictures, or even a medal of honor? In this sci-fi story, we meet Gabe Mola and his assistant, Jebediah, who have dedicated their careers to bringing down these bandits. Although the group is most commonly known as the Star Gypsies, Gabe’s department knows little else about them except that they leave a path of misery and heartbreak wherever they go. The Star Gypsies look different to each victim, and no one is sure where or when they’ll strike next.
Jebediah is determined to learn as much as he can about the Star Gypsies. He studies all of the department’s case files and talks to some of the victims in an effort to gain more insight. Gabe and Jebediah are able to track down some of the Star Gypsies during an attack, but they find that the Gypsies are more powerful than they originally realized. With the ability to read minds and shape shift as they please, the Gypsies seem to be unstoppable. But in a final effort to take the Star Gypsies down, Gabe and Jebediah are faced with an unthinkable dilemma: to face certain death or to make a deal with the very group they’re trying to arrest.
Keepsakes by Mike Resnick kept me glued to my seat until the very end, and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in science fiction. I loved the ironic twist at the end of the story and Gabe’s determination to take down the Star Gypsies, even if it was the last thing he did. It made me wonder how I would really react if faced with a situation like this. Mike Resnick’s easy-to-read style is quickly becoming one of my favorites, and I would recommend his books to any reader.