Friday, October 29, 2010

Reviews: Witch Child and Princess Ben

Happy Friday!  Sales for Shadow Dancer seem to be going very well.  Thank you everyone for your support of my first solo novel.  I would love to hear from you if you have read it.  As I am working on book 2 of the Acadia Series (Shadow Warrior), any feedback would be great. 

Just finished reading Princess Ben, by Catherine G. Murdock.  This is a YA Fantasy Fiction and I have to say, was such a nice read.  It’s the story of a girl that due to several sudden deaths finds herself poised to take her place as Princess and upon marriage, Queen.  Of course nothing in life is that easy.  There are dragons, sorcery, slavery and love.  It’s a coming of age novel in a fantasy world.  Yes, it’s a great book.  Also, there are little side moments of several other fairytales mingled in, only with an odd twist.  Once I realized their existence, I found myself waiting for the next one to come along and how it would be told.  I wont tell you about any one of them, as that would spoil the fun.  Truly, fun read.  

I also read this week, Witch Child, by Celia Rees.  I picked this up on a whim, not even really knowing what it was about until I opened it.  Witch Child is a story based on fact of a young girl that journeys from England to the new world of Salem during the witch hunts.  Although I recognized most of the names used in the story, I didn’t realize it was truly based on real events, until I reached the very last page, where the author asked if you have additional knowledge of any of the people or events listed to contact her.  I have read and researched that time period several times and hope to visit Salem one of these days.  The story was very interesting if a bit dull now and then with the ordinary, but I think that was intentional.  I truly enjoyed the easy read in the end and found it quite fascinating. 

That’s it for this week guys.  Have a great weekend and Happy Halloween. 

To find the above referenced books, you can go here:
Princess Ben
Witch Child

Monday, October 25, 2010

Is it just me or are people less polite these days?

Took the children to the zoo this weekend to attend “Boo at the Zoo”.  This is a great day to attend, as not only do the children get to dress up in their costumes, the zoo has sponsors that set up “treat stations” where they give out free candy to the kids and information about their services to the adults.  So as you are looking at the new Polar Bear exhibit (which was awesome by the way) you can be snacking on tootsie rolls, or milky ways. 

The day was lovely.  A nice 65-70 degrees, depending on where the sun was, and the animals were all out and lively.  The day wasn’t all that crowded and we were able to see the animals instead of being rushed right by them.  The grizzlies and the wolves were a treat to see, as they weren’t just lying down.  They were prowling around to the ohs and ahs of the masses.  It really was a wonderful day. 

Then you had the treat stations.  These aren’t small stations by the way.  They consist of a big tables decorated by the sponsors and then there seemed to be 2-4 sponsors manning the tables.  There is a line for each one.  There just is.  I can’t tell you how many times I watched people get in front of the line, swipe the candy and dash off.  You couldn’t wait in the line like everyone else?  You had to “ditch” little children for a piece of mini candy?  Yeesh.  Then you have the ones that put their small children in the line to wait by themselves, and then they go off to look at the animals.  No further comment on that one, except to say, that I found myself keeping an eye out for these children just in case they had a problem.  I don’t know why.  I’m a sap, I guess.   Finally, my worst complaint?  The crowding up behind my children and me.  Seriously, this makes me nutty.  Let me just say, the more you crawl up my butt, the less likely I am to move forward.  Really.  Do people not realize that breathing down my neck is not going to get them to the candy any faster?  I expect it from the children.  The whole point is for the children after all.  I don’t expect it from the adults.  Personal space people!

What does this have to do about writing?  Not one thing.  I am just sharing a thought that has been on my mind lately.  What is with the loss of manners and polite society?  I miss the days of “thank-you” and “please”.  It just seems like the world has changed to a get-what-you-can-before-someone-else-does mentality.  It’s really sad actually. 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Life Lessons

First, I wanted to let you all know that Shadow Dancer is now also available at http://www.barnesandnoble.com/ as an ebook.  Yes, really!  So if you are a NOOK user, you can now obtain Shadow Dancer.  Yay! 

This week I have been spending a load of time looking into guest blogs.  One caught my eye and my interest and I decided to participate.  I will post the particulars as I get them, but as a teaser I ask you a similar question.  If you could send a letter to yourself telling one single thing, what would it be?  What would be the most important nugget of information that you would absolutely need, have to know?  It’s hard to decide on one isn’t it? 

On the non-writing front…I would definitely tell myself NOT to go toilet papering the night of my sister’s birthday party.  It ended with tears, as well as police and criminal charges (littering – breaking curfew).  Yes, yes, I was charged with littering.  It is still on my record.  What’s funny?  I didn’t even want to go!  Figures right?  At the time, I was still trying to get my sister to like me as well as trying to fit in with the older girls at the party.  Lessons learned at 13 are rough.  I could have done without that one, thank you very much. 

On the writing front, I would tell myself to focus on writing while I was young and didn’t have quite so many responsibilities.  I think about how much further along in my writing career I would be now, if I had only stuck with it then, instead of letting life derail me from my dreams.  Better late than never right? 

So, what would your tell yourself, if you had the chance?  Come on, you know you want to share…

Monday, October 18, 2010


This week I am finishing my WIP.  You read right…FINISHING!  I got through the big revisions last week and this week I just want to give it another go through to make sure it flows and ends right.  Then I will begin the process of submission!  Oh…joy.  Maybe I will hold that thought for a bit…

I like a blog called:  Booking through Thursday.  They have a weekly question and this week’s was: If you could rewrite the ending to any book what would it be and how?  I liked this question.  There are several that could use a nice rewrite, but the first one I thought of was, the original Little Mermaid (by Hans Christian Anderson).  In his story, the little mermaid lost her prince to another woman.  The mermaid is given a choice of either killing her prince to return to her mermaid form, or dying and turning to sea foam.  She tries to kill the prince, but in the end, she loves him too much and chooses death instead.  My thoughts?  WHAT EVER!  The prince tossed the mermaid aside, married another woman, all without thought to the woman he had right before his eyes that not only once saved his life, but also truly loved him.  The morbid storyteller in me would have had the mermaid be true to her nature and kill the prince.  She would have been returned to the sea and of course lived happily ever after.  Why?  I remember reading that story and being ticked off at the ending.  Nothing happened to the prince.  Nothing.  He got the fairytale and she got to die.  You gotta love Hans and his unhappy endings.

So I pass the question on to you….if you could rewrite the endings to any book, what would it be, and how? 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Horror Movies

Just a quick reminder that the contest, hosted by Kelly Hashway (http://www.kellyhashway.com/) ends tomorrow (October 15, 2010) at noon.  If you want a chance to win a free ebook of Shadow Dancer, you need to get over there. 

October.  I love this month.  Not because of the new fall foliage or the cooler temperatures (which I in fact hate), but because it’s SCARY MOVIE MONTH.  Some people hate scary movies.  Not me.  I love them.  The chills, the rush of fear you can later laugh at yourself for, all of it.  Last weekend there was a Stephen King marathon:  Cujo, Carrie, Sleepwalkers.  As Stephen King is one of my favorite writers, a night of his movies was wonderful.  This weekend begins the Halloween nights of terror:  Scary movies every night, all the way up to Halloween night.

I was trying to decide what were my favorite scary movies.  The original “Exorcist” still to this day scares the poop right out of me.  Last year I saw the movie “Paranormal”.  Oh My Gosh!  That is one scary movie.  No blood and guts, just honest to goodness mental fear going on.  I saw that “Paranormal II” is coming out this weekend, and although I want to see it really bad, I am a bit afraid to, as the first one gave me nightmares.  It was great. 

What are you favorite things about October?  Are you a scary movie fanatic like me?  If so, what are your favorites and why?

Monday, October 11, 2010

New Contest and Interview beginning today.

With the start of a new week, I get to announce a new contest beginning today.  A fellow author and friend is hosting a contest through her website KellyHashway.com. What can you win?  You have a chance to win a free Ebook of my YA Novel, Shadow Dancer

How do you enter?  Well the rules are simple:
1. Become a member of Kelly Hashway's Books by clicking on the "Register" link on the left sidebar on her site. If you are already a member, then yay for you and move right on to rule number two!
2. Leave a comment on her blog post telling us what gift/power you would love to have most. 

Nice and easy right?  Now go and enter.  The contest is only open until noon, October 15, 2010.  Good luck! 

Friday, October 8, 2010

Book Review: Jumper - Griffin's Story

I spent part of this week catching up on some reading.  I picked up the book:  Jumper – Griffin’s Story (by Steven Gould).  I had read the first book: Jumper and I had watched the movie.  I must admit that I wasn’t all that excited about reading the Griffin book.  That all changed once I picked it up and got past the first page. 

Griffin, as we know from the movie, lost his parents when he was very young, when the Paladin group murdered them.  The story begins right before the death of Griffin’s parents and the action and the adventure and the story never stops until you reach the end and even then, you are left wanting more.  This writer did a fantastic job keeping me in the story and rooting for Griffin.  His story spans the globe and rides right along the lines created in both the previous book and the lines created in the movie. 

My only poke at the book was that it switched languages throughout.  Spanish, French, English.  Just conversations here and there, it was nothing too extensive.  I have had very rudimentary education in Spanish and French and although I could fight my way through it and get the gist of what the words meant, it stopped my forward motion in the story.  It would have been just as good without it.  

I give this book a very high rating.  Very good job, Mr. Gould.  So the next time you want a quick fun easy read, this is a good one.  I really enjoyed the read. 

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Shadow Dancer

Waa Hoo.  Got home from work today to find a nice big box waiting for me on my door step.  I opened it up and found to my wonderful excitement, the final print version of my book, Shadow Dancer.  It is absolutely beautiful.  It just is.  I am so excited.  I have three copies being donated to the libraries I frequent, as well as one for each of my girls and myself.  My publisher even sent me a big proof copy of the cover.  I think I will have it matted and framed.  Is that silly?  Maybe, but I will be doing it anyway. 

Only three more days left to take part in the http://luxuryreading.com/shadowdancer/ contest.  You know you want to read my book, so why not go over and enter to win a FREE ebook.  Its easy.  Just post a comment.  You can do it!  

I am working on revising my current WIP.  I hate revising.  It takes too long and too much concentrated brain effort.  I just want to write more stories.  In fact, book two in the Shadow Dancer series is calling my name and wont leave me alone.  I had to get up in the middle of the night and make notes on it.  That's just so sad. 

So the talk today was why do I not use an agent.  Truthfully?  I tried to find an agent.  I couldn't get a single one to reply to my submissions or queries.  I find that extremely rude.  However, from what I am hearing and reading, that is the new trend.  If they are interested they will get back with you.  If they aren't, you don't even rate enough on their todo list to get a rejection.  It may be the trend, but I still find it wrong.  I know that not all agents work that way and I am extremely grateful for them.  It's just a shame to me that so many now do.  

What are your thoughts on agents?  Do you use them?  Why or why not?  What do you think of the new non-response trend?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

New Blog

Welcome to my new and improved blog.  I hope that in updating to a more user friendly blog, I will feel more inclined to post.  So far it seems more Courtney friendly, so that is something. 

Don't forget to check out my contest that is currently going on until October 8, 2010 through Luxuryreading.com.  You have an opportunity to win a free ebook of Shadow Dancer.  All you need to do to enter is comment.  What do you have to lose?  Comment once or ten times.  The more you comment the more chances you have to win. 

Let me know what you think of the new blog.  I would love to hear your comments.