Happy NaNoWeen!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!

You know, I look forward to this day every single year. Not just because of the large bags of candy I can purchase without the cashiers giving me strange looks, and not just for the costumes and movies, which I adore, but because the last few days of October turn cool and crisp and stormy…and help build my anticipation for November.

My daughter loves super heroes (like mother like daughter!) and so we have a very super themed costume year. She got a Ninja Turtles costume, then chose to wear her Batgirl outfit instead (totally understandable!) and I…well I cobbled together a few things and became: A SUPER WRITER!!! (theme song to written later).

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As you can see, I have my notebook and pen at the ready in order to catch any stories that might come my way. My boom, bang, conversation bubble leggings are just begging for more super characters, and my masks: every good super hero must protect at least part of their identity, right? (*Side Note* My mother said ‘Oh! You’re a MYSTERY writer!)

You may be asking yourself why in the world I would choose this particular get up for the day…well, there are a couple of reasons. #1 I am a writer, so why not be a SUPER writer (muahaha, you knew that was coming). #2 My 3 year old daughter watches the Super Readers show and said to me one day, “Mama, you’re not just a super reader, YOU ARE A SUPER WRITER!” I liked that. and finally #3 NaNoWriMo begins tomorrow. I am writing a story like I’ve never written before. Not just the content, parts of which will be surprisingly similar to previous stories, I’m afraid, but also the target age group and the way I am putting the novel together. So, I might need to be reminded of my inner superhero by the end of the month, er, weekend.

This will be my 8th year (I believe) to participate in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). Most of you probably already know about NaNoWriMo, the month in which people from all over the globe log in their word counts and frantically attempt to reach at least 50,000 words in a single story, or group of works if you’re a rebel. 😉

I have won a few of the past seven years, I have fallen just shy of winning for a couple, and there may have been one or two of them that included a woefully shameful shortcoming (one year I didn’t even hit the ten thousand mark). The stress of everyday life can have a huge effect on your ability or desire to push yourself to write at all, let alone get to the *at least* 1,677 words a day you need to hit 50,000 by the end of the month. So why am telling you this?

I am telling you about this because whether or not I won a year, I still wrote. I still discovered at least a few of the beautiful words that lurked deep in the dark recesses of my heart and mind. I still made connections, I still worked hard, and I still reminded myself of my dreams. Yes, even if I failed it wasn’t really a failure because I can look back and see where I was, how far I’ve come, and even the steps I’ve taken to secure the hopes I had way back when. I hope that you are all able to find a way to do that for whatever your hopes and dreams are! No matter the stress or upheaval such an intense month might cause, the rewards, in my opinion, outweigh any issues that I’ve come across so far. I have made year long writing buddies, learned amazing things about my craft (and myself), and found even better ways to annoy my friends and family! (YAY NANO!!)

If you would like to learn more about NaNoWriMo, visit http://www.nanowrimo.org

If you are (or will be) participating this year and would like to add me as a writing buddy, go for it! I’m known as writerbaby13

If you would like to be kept apprised of my writing progress and/or the story I’m going to be pushing through this year, keep it tuned in to this blog or check out http://www.facebook.com/TyreeTomes (don’t forget to ‘like’ the page…and keep checking both sites!)

New LitWorldInterviews.com Team Member-Elizabeth Tyree!

Lit World Interviews

Everyone welcome our newest Team Member here at LitWordInterviews.com.

ELIZABETH S. TYREE

Elizabeth Tyree

Some of you may know Beth from Here there Be Dragons, her blog where she currently shares her own writing and book reviews.

Colleen, you all know the Silver One, led me to Beth after reading her reviews and thought she would make a great addition to the team. After reading some of her reviews, noting her unique voice and her professionalism, I immediately emailed her. And here we are. And I’ve already thrown some reviews her way that were waiting in line.

We get a lot more books than we are able to handle as fast as I like, but the authors have been patient, understanding the great demand for Book Reviewers. And demand good book reviewers who are fair and professional is even greater. That is something I hope LitWorldInterviews has a reputation for.

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Author Interview – Jim Vine

Welcome everyone to this week’s edition of Friday Author Interviews! Today I am happy to welcome author and screenwriter Jim Vines to the mix. Away we go:

Q: What name do you write under? Is this a pseudonym? Do you use more than one name when you write?

 

A: I write under my actual name and only my actual name.

Q: Tell us about the first time you realized that you were an author or were going to be an author.


A: After being a screenwriter for many years, I decided to write a novel. I got it written, but wasn’t completely sure if I had anything anyone would want to read. I’m a pretty decent judge of my own writing, and I was confident that I had something good, but I needed another opinion. I gave the manuscript to a friend…someone I knew would give me honest feedback. She read it and loved it…not only the story itself, but all the characters, the twists and turns. This gave me the push I needed to move forward on the rewrites and editing.

Q: What genre(s) do you write in, and why?

A: Any success I had as a screenwriter was in the horror and thriller genres. I’ve only been a novelist for a short time, so I haven’t had a chance yet to explore writing in those genres, but I’m sure I will eventually. I tend to be drawn to stories that take place in the real world…ordinary people going through ordinary tribulations.

Q: What genres are your favorites to read? Why?

A: I don’t really have a favorite genre. I’m pretty much willing to read just about anything that sounds interesting. But I will say that I’m not a big fan of period pieces or tales of the future, so I usually stick with contemporary stories. I understand present day, so that’s what I read…and it’s what I tend to write.

Q: Tell us about your two all-time favorite characters: one that you wrote and one that someone else wrote.

A: I can’t say I have any all-time favorite characters in fiction. I guess Ian Fleming’s James Bond could be a candidate. I wasn’t crazy about the series of books (though I did find a few of them quite entertaining), but it’s what made the Bond films possible…and I grew up being quite a Bond fanatic. (I was also named after James Bond, so there’s that.) As for characters I’ve written…well, there have been some fun ones I’ve written in screenplays, but I’d have to vote for Trent Nordhoff, the main character in my debut novel, Luigi’s Chinese Delicatessen. To pick up and leave the safety and comfort of home and family, to drive clear across country and settle in a place like Hollywood, to start an entirely new life as a budding screenwriter…lemme tell ya, that boy’s got some guts!

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Q: There is a lot of controversy about allowing books to be made into movies (especially when they cut or change large portions of the plot). Would you be willing for your books/stories to become a movie? Why or why not?

A: Sure, if a producer wants to make a TV show or movie out of one of my books, and if he pays me for it, I’d be thrilled. Will the resultant piece be true to my original vision? Well, probably not. But I’d be willing to bet they’d come up with an interesting slant on my material that I never gave thought to…and that can be pretty exciting. I wrote a web series a number of years ago and found a young fella who wanted to produce it. This wasn’t a big project and there was no money behind it. It was just a group of talented, creative people getting together to flex their creative muscles. The end result was probably about 80% my vision. That other 20% was a nice surprise. I really had a blast watching it all come to life!

Q: How do you handle writer’s block?

A: I don’t suffer much from writer’s block, though I might occasionally hit a snag on a scene. If that happens I just skip the scene and get back to it when the ideas are flowing. Sometimes your mind just needs to get away from whatever you’re working on. Given the time and a bit of distance, you’ll eventually figure out whatever problems you were having.

Q: What inspires you?

A: It’s all about creativity and entertainment. Those are the two driving forces for me. To create something that entertains…it’s magic.

Q: How do you respond when people ask what you do, then make that face if you say “I’m an author”?

A: Nobody has ever made a face when I told them I’m a writer. Usually people get excited: “You’re a writer? Really? Cool!” I’ve had some great discussions about writing and the creative process. So many people seem to be fascinated by it.

 

Q: Finally, tell us where to go to find you

A: Here’s where you can find me:

My screenwriting blog: www.theworkingscreenwriter.blogspot.com

My indie author blog: www.jimvinespresents.blogspot.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WriterJimVines

My creative page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jimvinespresents?ref=hl

My novel on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1PxMsUq

Writer Quote Wednesday – Burtonisms

This is a weekly challenge posted by the incredible Colleen over on her blog, Silver Threading. See this week’s post HERE. Now Silver Threading has partnered up with Ronovan Writes so that Writer Quote Wednesday and #BeWoW (Be Wonderful on Wednesday) are connected! I am excited to begin participating in Ronovan’s #BeWoW movement…(and as a reviewer but that news can wait 😀 ). Check out #BeWoW right HERE

On to the Quotes! Since this is October 28th and Halloween, my favorite holiday, is coming up quickly, I thought I would focus on one of my favorite film directors, producers, artist, author, and animator…Tim Burton! His dark whimsical style is, to me, at once magical, macabre, and memorable. I mean, come on, how many other people can you think of that are capable of creating such amazingly different and creepy places…and then making even the most stoic of scary movie goers fall in love with the romances he seamlessly weaves into it. As long as you try to ignore the amount of times he’s had his best mate, Johnny Depp, kill his wife, Helena Bonham Carter, in his movies.

This beautifully hand drawn piece by freutcake.com is quite suitable for an equally beautiful quote from the Gothic Grandiose….Dream your dreams, pursue your vision, and allow yourself to succeed!

Some people need to hide who they are every day and only appear really and truly for Halloween…and then some of us are merely weird, strange, and wonderfully different all year long. I am proud to be a ‘some of us…’ Beautiful and true…at least for me. What about you?

Finally…we are all somehow deeply connected to whatever it is that shaped us up. The things we saw as a child, whether they are good or not so great, move us. I have an affinity for 80s cartoons and flannel…I was born in ’85. What are you holding on to?

Worth It:

Above All Else, Remember This:
That the dreams you dream in your most secret times and the deepest locked away pieces of your inner self are WORTH IT! They are worth fighting for. They are worth working hard for. They are worth your time, your attention, and your acknowledgement.
What’s more is that YOU are worth it. Your happiness is worth it. Your time is worth it. Your dreams, hopes, and aspirations are all worth it.
If only you will believe in yourself even half as much as I believe in you and you will be seizing the day, taking the world, moving all the mountains, and looking forward to new dreams by month’s end. You are more than able to do anything you wish to do. Whatever you please is within your grasp if you only look at things the right way and realize that you can close your fingers and hold on to it. And I…Well I am proud to say that I know you, because I am more than proud of you.
So go, darling, Realize your Dreams. Reach Your Goals and climb up to the stars…I’ll be right here holding the ladder, supporting whatever you do, and basking in the glow of the night sky.
Always.

A Peculiar Review

There has been a lot of hype the past few years over the 2011 debut novel of author Ransom Riggs. Since I had heard it was ‘amazing’ ‘well written’ and ‘creepy’, all things I tend to enjoy (especially in the fall), I finally decided to pick up a copy of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children at the beginning of September. The way the book is set up attracted me as soon as I saw it.

With old photographs providing the inspiration for our imaginings of characters, and chapters that remind one of the creepy abandoned house down the street, I was pulled in to the story immediately. Then I did something I had never done before: At the end of each chapter I paused for a moment to reflect, and then tweeted a short response to what I had just read. These tweets received little to no attention, but I LOVED it! this allows me to come back a month later and see exactly how I felt as I read the book, while still having the vision of a month apart from the story.

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So today this book review will be a bit longer than typical because I am going to go Chapter by Chapter…starting with my Twitter response and then giving a brief look at the story and personal feelings at that point in the book. Since I’ve never done this type of review before, I would love for you to tell me a) how you feel about the set up and if you would like more reviews like this AND b) if you’ve read the book/series and how you feel about it/them!

Now then…let’s get this show on the road!!

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Written by: Ransom Riggs

Published by Quirk Books

Copyright 2011 (Ransom Riggs)

Excerpt Copyright 2013 (Ransom Riggs)

Q&A Copyright 2013 Quirk Productions, Inc.

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Prologue:  tweet – Prologue: I am both intrigued and a bit sad as I finish the prologue. Grandpas are as special as childhood & fairy tales

The first sentence, I had just come to accept that my life would be ordinary when extraordinary things began to happen, immediately peaked my interest. The rest of the prologue introduces us Jacob Portman, the main character, his Grandpa Abraham Portman, the catalyst for the story, and the idea of Before & After. Grandpa Portman has always told magnificent stories of peculiar children, an orphanage, and the war. Monsters and mayhem and chaos and friends…and Jacob finally stopped believing in them, even with the pictures and sincerity that Grandpa presented.

I found this both intriguing and a bit sad because Jacob has suffered bullying and ridicule, and chosen to defy his Grandpa’s stories. My grandparents, especially my Great-Grandmother Curtis (may she rest in piece) have been great sources for stories throughout my life and, at the age of 30, I still love to listen to tales of ‘the old days’ and ‘back when I was stationed in…’ I love fantasy, fiction, folk tales, etc and find it incredibly saddening that some people cannot accept this amazing art form after a certain age. Lewis Carroll even once said, “Some day you will be old enough for fairy tales again.” I don’t think I’ve ever out grown them. 

Image found via fangirlsarewe.com

Chapter 1: tweet – Ch.1: ACK! Wow! HOLYBEJEEPS! ICKY NO NO NO. Great tower, sassy boy. Looking forward to CH. 2  

No spoilers from me so this will be short…sassy 15 year old boy, family business, big emergency…sadness.

Frightening and emotional, chapter 1’s slow movement and build managed to completely stun me. That does not happen often. 

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Chapter 2: tweet – Ch. 2: The plot thickens. I am astonished at the vague perfection of Yakob’s familial descriptions. I am excited about the island.

The first appearance of Miss Peregrine and the inkling that an island in Wales might hold the key to Jacob’s ‘acute stress reaction’…the seemingly mundane portrayal of the beginning of AFTER is intriguing and, in some parts, hilarious.

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Chapter 3: tweet – Ch.4 the plot thickens, suspense builds…. So far the narrator has a strong voice, but seems a bit lazed. This’ll be good

I love the lazy and somewhat detached descriptions that still show a slight bit of emergency and/or excitement. It is as though Riggs captured a 15 year old boy suffering from anxiety and depression perfectly! I suppose it helps to have once been a teenaged boy. 

Chapter 4: tweet – CH. 4 the old man, the house…THINK BOY THINK!!

The amount of ‘feels’ and mind churning ideas in this chapter cannot be explained within a short sentence. Back in chapter 1 Jacob is told something that he has spent months thinking about. In this chapter you suddenly find yourself thinking you know the answer…here’s a hint, you don’t know the answer. At least not the full answer. Be patient…do not throw the book and pout. Do not repeat my mistakes…;)

Chapter 5: tweet – Ch.5 well, well, well…the first half made me feel gritty, the second half tired, but totally excited: connections.. AHA!

The descriptions in this book are AMAZING and the pictures included throughout each chapter are creepy perfection. The narration style had me vacillating between feeling like the story was too slow and a bit boring or BAM! WOW! WHAT?? The up and down of a roller coaster for much less cost!

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Chapter 6: tweet – Ch6 WOWSERS! Death Threats, Dinner, and Dodging….oh, and a bit of enlightenment thrown in for good measure.

Some of the new characters from the island are so horribly hilarious that I hurt myself laughing. Some of them are horribly scary and at one point I was gasping for air from laughing, read a bit more and choked on my drink because I gasped while still trying to stop giggling. The movement of the story, while not moving much at all in some parts, is a piece of art within itself. 

Chapter 7: tweet – Aww Ch7 is all young love with an old lady teenager in a time warp. I suspect the monsters of sheep slaughter

There may or may not be a time warp, there may or may not be a teenaged girl within said time warp, and there may or may not be an attraction that is made even more than slightly creepy from the news that this is not the first Portman she’s been attached to…oh and there are gruesomely dead sheep. 

Chapter 8: tweet – Ch8 Goodness! Time loop consequences, creepy necromancer types, pretty girls wanting to relive the past, and a revelation.

That about says it all! 

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Chapter 9: tweet –  Ch9: here we go! Flat out explanations and a healthy dose of sickening terror.

Look-a-there Jacob discovers something peculiar about his Grandpa, and about himself, that suddenly makes a few more things fall frighteningly into place. Life changing moments happen in an instant sometimes. 

Chapter 10: tweet – The short story stalled out but Ch.10 of was JAMPACKED with action, adventure, and rain…perfect for our stormy night here.

I was, obviously, trying to write instead of read but the stormy night made me want to get back to the last chapters of Miss Peregrine’s. The book itself was in the middle of a storm, a chase, a discovery, and a good amount of terror and mayhem. I loved it. 

Chapter 11: tweet – CH.11 all I have to say is WOW I’m really looking forward to reading book 2!

The last chapter really blew me away. When I was finished I hugged the book for a moment before looking through the pictures again. Then i ran it through the house to hand to my mother. She stayed up late, late to read the book. She loved it too! 

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Unfortunately, it took me a few weeks to get the second book but I did get books two AND three at the same time. They are currently waiting in my TBR pile as I work through a few books I had ahead of them.

Overall, I give Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs a 4 out of 5 dragons for story and plot line. As much as I do adore this book, there were four or five places that I felt should have been tweaked a bit more so as not to drag the reader’s experience. The cover, back cover copy, and illustrations all earn a 5 out of 5 dragons from me though. The best part about the illustrations, in my opinion anyway, is that they are all legitimate vintage pictures. Let me share with you what is said about these photographs within the afterword:

All the pictures in this book are authentic, vintage found photographs, and with the exception of a few that have undergone minimal postprocessing, they are unaltered. They were lent from the personal archives of ten collectors, people who have spent years and countless hours hunting through giant bins of unsorted snapshots at flea markets and antique malls and yard sales to find a transcendent few, rescuing images of historic significance and arresting beauty from obscurity – and, most likely, the dump. 

Items like found photographs, inspiration from beautifully abandoned houses, and an uncanny ability to portray characters as real to life as one could expect the peculiar to be brought this book together in a way that made me laugh while getting my spine tingled. I am looking forward to finishing my current read and diving back into the world of Riggs and his peculiar friends!

ACK! TIM BURTON!! WOOOOOO!

Have you read this book? Are you excited about the movie releasing in April 2016? Did you like this form of review? Suggestions? Leave me a comment below and let’s get chatty! I can’t wait to hear from you all. Have a great week!

Coloring Time

The Time Chamber

By: Song Ji-Hye (Daria Song)

Published in the United States by Watson-Guptill Publications,

an imprint of Crown Publishing Group,

A division of Penguin Random House, LLC, New York.

(Originally published in Korea by the Business Books and Company, LTD.)

Copyright 2015

I have made mention before of how much I love the ‘new’ idea of adult coloring books. In fact, I even reviewed the first book in this coloring book series, The Time Garden, which can be found here.

Well folks, Daria Song has done it again. This book is gorgeously drawn, beautifully storied in a few short sentences, and incredibly imaginative. A fairy who lives in a cuckoo clock decides to venture out into the world of her friend, the little girl. Suddenly the most innocent and mundane of items turns into magic and the audience is taken on an adventure chronicled through images that make you wonder even in black and white. I cannot wait to begin coloring these books…although I almost want to leave them in their pristine condition. The inclusion of the audience in the story, through the ability to color the story itself, reminds me of the beloved books from my childhood in which we chose what happened and turned to the appropriate pages. This grown up version, however, is so much better!

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Even the book jacket reveals a large illustration to be colored if one so desired. With owls on almost every page and the only real direction the inclusion of the fairy’s hair color, each individual will come away with an entirely different take on this picture book for adults. Color it in yourself, pass it along to a friend or loved one, give it to a child on the street…I cannot think of anyone who wouldn’t appreciate this book on some level, unless it they are blind. In fact, describing the pictures and reading the short sentences to someone who cannot see might actually allow them to appreciate it as well.

I give this book 5 out of 5 dragons. I am excited to see what Ms. Song comes out with next. Whatever it is, I am sure it will be beautiful!

For more information about Daria Song, her books, and free downloadable coloring pages visit: http://www.readitforward.com/time-garden-time-chamber/

I received this book free of charge from Blogging for Books in return for my honest review. All views are my own. For more information on Blogging for Books see bloggingforbooks.com 

Author Interview – Jean Lamb

Welcome everyone to another week of Friday Interviews! This week we welcome life-long author, Jean Lamb. Thank you for stopping by Jean.

Jean Lamb

Let’s get right to the questions!

  • What name do you write under? Is this a pseudonym? Do you use more than one name when you write?

I write under the name of Jean Lamb, which is the name I usually go by. It’s not a pseudonym, though I have multiple series planned in multiple genres, so I may well use pseudonyms when I begin those. For instance, I have a Western saga series planned called The Western Wheel, which will cover the events in Sabado, Kansas, over a period of 60 years (each book is five years apart and it begins in 1850).

  • Tell us about the first time you realized that you were an author or were going to be an author.

I wrote really bad stories as a child, and what is worse, sent some of them out. I suspect the editors suspected my age, and were fairly gentle. I even made up a truly bad musical in junior high that I somehow inveigled the other kids in the neighborhood to participate in (no singing, just running around with occasional swordfights, punctuated by Plot Expositions).

  • What genre(s) do you write in, and why?

Right now I write in fantasy and romance. My next book, Phoenix in Shadow, is a combination of both. It’s not strictly a romantic fantasy, but a fantasy with a romance. I also have SF, historical mystery, and western saga books planned to write.

Due to release sometime in January 2016

Due to release sometime in January 2016

  • What genres are your favorites to read? Why?

I grew up on SF and fantasy, as well as sneak-reading my mom’s James Bond books (how I learned where Vladivostok was when in sixth grade, and why I didn’t tell the teacher how I’d learned it). Now I read a lot more SF, fantasy, mystery, historical, biographies, nonfiction (including some WWII books. Ok, I read everything).

That sounds like quite the eclectic list! I applaud you for it!

  • Tell us about your two all-time favorite characters: 1 that you wrote and 1 that someone else wrote.

The one that I wrote—Ravin Gambrell. He shows that there is life and courage after a devastating personal loss of house, family, and face. He also shows that there should be a limit to revenge. Eventually.

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The one I didn’t write—Professor Severus Snape. My husband is a chemistry teacher, you see, and I hear about what some of the students and what they get up to. He shows that love is everlasting even for the not-so-beautiful people, and that a person can do the right thing even when everyone else hates you.

I agree that Snape is amazing, and one of my top 5 characters from the series as well! He was played perfectly in the movies, in my opinion anyway.

 

  • There is a lot of controversy about allowing books to be made into movies (especially when they cut or change large portions of the plot). Would you be willing for your books/stories to become a movie? Why or why not?

Oh, yes—but only if I was part of the process. Many things can change, as long as the spirit of the story remains. This is weird, but I obsess over my last line; if I know my last line, then the rest of the book eventually lines up, even though I wander around a lot. The movie would have to make enough sense for that last line to work.

  • How do you handle writer’s block?

Morning pages. Even if you spend them whining, the process makes you sit down and write something. I disagree with Julia Cameron that they have to be handwritten, however. I can type forever, but handwriting bothers my wrist a great deal and I become nearly illegible. Typed morning pages allow me to salvage anything interesting for actual works in progress.

Of course, I try not to play Bejeweled until I have some writing done. I don’t have Candy Crush on my phone, either—as a recovering Tetris addict, I know what timesuckers those cute little games can be.

I am a game addict as well, so I try really REALLY hard not to ….oh look, someone sent me a request.

  • What inspires you?

Music! I have a variety of synesthesia where sound creates physical sensation/texture, which makes it easy for me to choreograph almost any kind of music. Even though my joints are not as limber as they use to be, getting up and dancing gets my blood flowing and my thoughts moving.

Art! Beauty of any kind moves me; whether it’s landscape in the beautiful Klamath Basin where I live, or the panoramic forests on my screensaver, or even the blossoms on the geranium hanging outside, color and light help me to live.

Love! A strong marriage of over 40 years and two children make me feel connected to others, as well as many friends who live here or on the Internet. I know the rhythms of love, both when they work and when they go wrong. And I know that supporting them, and asking for their support, helps make my life complete.

  • How do you respond when people ask what you do, then make that face if you say “I’m an author”?

I cheerfully point out what I write, where they can find my work, and mention that they can read the first three chapters for free before buying. I really hope I have hooked them by then. I still have a day job, though that will end at the end of this year. When I have the time I need, my motto will be “2k a day before I play”.

 A Brilliant Marriage

  • Finally, tell us where to go to find you

My books are on Amazon, of course, just look for Jean Lamb. I have one book on B&N, though alas it has not sold very well there. I have the gmail address jeanlambwriter@gmail.com, which I am very bad about checking, and I am also on Facebook.

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Thank you for sharing your awesome answers with us today Jean! Good luck with your books, and the 2k motto 😉

Remember, if you are someone in the business of books (even if you aren’t an author) and would like to be included in an interview just let me know! I look forward to hearing from you all. Come back soon!

Fallen in Review

Fallen

By: Lauren Kate

Published By: Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books,

a Division of Random House, Inc., New York.

Copyright 2009

Age level: Young Adult/Teen (Reviewer suggests upper teen – 14-18)

About the Author: Lauren Kate grew up in Dallas, went to school in Atlanta, and started writing in New York. She is the internationally number one bestselling author of Teardrop, The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove, and the Fallen novels: Fallen, Torment, Passion, Fallen in Love, and Rapture. Her work has been translated into over thirty languages. She lives in Los Angeles.

Fallen Back Cover Synopsis: There’s something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori. 

Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price’s attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at Sword & Cross boarding school in Savannah. He’s the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are screwups, and security cameras watch every move.

Except Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce – he goes out of his way to make that very clear. But she can’t let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, Luce has to find out what Danial is so desperate to keep secret…even if it kills her.

Review:

Luce Price begins her journey as the victim of a mysterious fire that took the hair from her head and the life of her crush. Blaming the dark shadows that have been following her for her entire life, Luce is deemed an issue, a mental case, when she tries to tell her parents and the investigators what happened and so, this story follows her journey at a new boarding school Sword & Cross. Cell phones are not allowed, the school uniform is basically anything black, and the two hottest boys in school instantly take notice of the new scared girl. 

This book seems to promise readers a dark, gothic romance with supernatural elements and twists. Unfortunately, I was sadly disappointed. I do enjoy Lauren Kate’s voice and style of writing; however, this book did not showcase those in a manner I felt was well done or deserving of her talent.

While the few pieces of male perspective show their emotions quite well, the fast pace of Luce’s emotions and obsessions feels both forced and flat. Her new friends don’t seem to help much and the immediacy of those friendships also feels a bit forced.

The description of Sword & Cross Boarding School is interesting and drew me in with the peculiarity of her chosen arena. A cemetery as a picnic date backdrop, a hidden lake for a huge fight, and an old church building as the gymnasium add to the mysterious air of the story. However, the characters themselves seem to not be as developed as they should be and, quite frankly, the story feels as though it got 3/4 of the way through and then jumped ahead of itself. I preferred the last bit to be honest with you.

To be fair, these opinions are all my own and you may love this book. In fact, i would recommend the story to people who enjoy fallen angel tales. Especially those who love slowly paced plot lines that contain forced, holey, and underdeveloped characters and story lines.

While I give the front cover a 5 of 5 dragons, and the back cover/synopsis a 4 of 5 dragons, I am giving the pages between a soft 3 out of possible 5 dragons. I did enjoy several small parts of this book. However, the overall effect left much to be desired for me. If I stumble upon a library sale of the second book, I might pick it up and give it a go. I can only hope that the further the books progress, the more in depth the characters will become. However, that is about the only way I can see myself picking up the rest of this series.

You can find Fallen and the rest of Lauren Kate’s books on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and bookstores.

Lauren Kate herself can be found on Twitter and her website: http://www.laurenkatebooks.net