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Like most bloggers I enjoy checking out the sites of other bloggers and those of professional writers – note, I said professional writers. The only difference between professionals and amateurs is professionals get paid for what they do. The rest of us are still out here struggling our way through the fog of obscurity, but I digress.

I like to check out other blogs, one that’s terrific is Chuck Wendig’s Terrible Minds. It’s just a great site. Plenty of information; lots of fun and no BS, which is probably why I like it.

At any rate, Chuck had a really interesting post the other day about “What makes a good story?” Here’s the link to the post. Feel free to come back here and post your thoughts on what makes a good story. We’ll have a great discussion about everything once we get some chatter going. just remember, no flaming. Here’s that link, enjoy Chuck’s site. Check out the rest of it while you’re there. http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2011/01/19/what-makes-for-a-good-story/

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On January 25th, 2011 Daniel Palmer’s new thriller Delirious came out. Help spread the word and by all means buy a copy.

Guardians of Ga”Hoole: The Capture

By Kathryn Lasky

copyright 2008 by Scholastic Inc

 

If you have a middle grader and haven’t already read the Guardians of Ga’Hoole: The Capture, the first book in the Guardians of Ga’Hoole series, and now a major motion picture, then now is the time to start.

Join the adventures of Soren, Gylfie,Twilight , and Digger as they set out to fight a great evil in their home kingdoms and find the legendary Guardians of Ga’ Hoole who they believe are the only owls able to help them. Yes, I said owls, for those of you not in the know Soren, Gylfie, Twilight and Digger are all different breeds of owls from different places brought together by a need to fight the evil that has sprung up among the kingdoms of the owls threatening the existence of all of them.

What follows is the description of the story from the back cover of the book:

“Soren is born in the forest of Tyto, a tranquil kingdom where the barn owls dwell. But evil lurks in the owl world, evil that threatens to shatter Tyto’s peace and change the course of Soren’s life forever.

Soren is captured and taken to a dark and forbidding canyon. It’s called an orphanage, but Soren believes it’s something far worse. He and his friend Gylfie know that the only way out is up. To escape, they will need to do something they have never done before – fly.

And so begins a magical journey. Along the way, Soren and Gylfie meet Twilight and Digger. The four owls band together to seek the truth and protect the owl world from unimaginable danger.”

Guardians of Ga’Hoole: The Capture deserves a place on every family’s book shelf. It will be a classic you can enjoy with your children and grandchildren again and again, and, as the first book in the series it leaves you plenty of exciting adventure to look forward to.

Fever Dream

by Preston & Child, copyright 2010 by Splendide Mendax, Inc. and Lincoln Child

published by Grand Central Publishing, Hachette Book Group,237 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10017, ISBN 978-0-446-55496-1

Fever Dream by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child is a stunning trip into the mind of the criminal, the insane, and downright devilish. Exquisite writing brings the characters and scenes of Fever Dream to vivid life as you meander down the twisted path of discovering ‘who-done-it’ in a twelve-year-old murder only recently uncovered.

FBI Special Agent Pendergast, the rather strange and somewhat dark hero of our story is a complex and infinitely interesting character who brings an added dimension to the typical detective of mysteries. He even has his own “Mr. Watson,” a NYPD cop named Vinnie D’Agosta who sees the clues Pendergast misses and encourages him to keep going in his darkest hour.

The murder in Fever Dream is highly personal for Pendergast. It involves the twelve-year-old murder of his wife Helen, previously thought to be an accident. From there the story evolves with a few surprises along the way.

What follows is a passage from the early pages of Fever Dream:

“Pendergast and his wife had left their hut and were in the dining shelter, guns beside them, sitting in the soft glow of a single bulb. There were no stars – the night had been overcast, the darkness absolute. They had been sitting there, unmoving and silent, for the last forty-five minutes, enjoying each other’s company and – with the kind of unspoken symbiosis that characterized their marriage – preparing mentally and emotionally for the hunt ahead. Helen Pendergast’s head was resting on her husband’s shoulder. Pendergast stroked her hand, toying now and then with the star sapphire on her wedding band.

“You can’t have it back, you know” she said at last, her voice husky from the long silence.

He simply smiled and continued his caresses.”

Fever Dream by Preston & Child is a literary mystery in the best of the old tradition coupled with modern science and information. You can’t miss it.

Abby: Finding More Than Gold

By Sharon Poppen

copyright 2010 by Sharon Poppen

published by Awe-Struck Publishing, an imprint of Mundania Press, LLC

6470 Glenway Avenue #109, Cincinnati, OH 45211, ISBN 978-1-58749-731-5

Abby: Finding More Than Gold is one of those young adult books that’s a pleasure to read, regardless of your age. It follows the dreams and adventures of a young Irish girl, Abby Barron, from her home in Chicago across the Great Plains of America and finally into the Yukon, where like so many others she pursues her dream of striking it rich with a big gold find.

Abby, a girl not yet eighteen, sets her mind upon fulfilling the dream she and her cousin Liam had of going to the Yukon to find gold, along the way Abby discovers many new and exciting things about herself and the people around her. Abby will never be the innocent ‘colleen’ who set out from Chicago a short time before.

Reading Abby: Finding More Than Gold leaves you longing for a sequel to the book, but according to author Sharon Poppen a sequel, if there is one, is quite a way in the future as she is currently under contract for other projects related to her book, After the War, Before the Peace. Still, you’ll want to know more of the fate of Abby, the Finleys and the rest of the family and friends from Abby: Finding More Than Gold.

Poppen does an excellent job with characterization and voice, although there is a touch of stereotype in the characters, it is not enough to detract from the story. Generally speaking there is a rich canvas of characters, action and story that fully and logically moves from beginning to conclusion with just enough tension to keep you eagerly turning pages.

What follows is an excerpt from early in the book:

“Abby took a deep breath and entered the darkened interior. The lobby was surprisingly clean and welcoming. She walked atop a faded Oriental rug runner, passing several divans and overstuffed chairs on her way to the hotel desk. A man wearing a green-shaded visor looked up from a newspaper and smiled broadly.

“Well, well, little lady.” His leering smile heightened Abby’s anxiety.

She laid the newspaper on the desk and pointed to the ad. “May I see Mr. Finley, please?”

He waved toward a room off to his left. “I believe I saw him come back a bit ago. Try the dining room. He may be having his lunch.”

Abby looked in the direction he pointed. “Can you tell me what he looks like?”

The clerk stepped from behind the desk and motioned for her to follow him. He led her to a room just off the hotel lobby. The room was bathed in the warmth of the January sun. At four of the eight or nine small tables, covered with white tablecloths and surrounded by four chairs each, sat lone male diners. The room was bright and stark in contrast to the dark of the lobby. The white walls were devoid of decoration. Only two potted ferns brought any color into the room.

The clerk pointed to a man who was sitting with his back to her at a table by the window. “That’s him.” He returned to his desk to talk with another woman. Abby noticed that the newcomer wa an unnatural blonde and was wearing far too much make-up. Her silk, red dress was inappropriately garish for this time of afternoon, or anytime actually. Abby watched the clerk and the woman exchange suggestive smiles before the blonde headed toward the stairs.

“Seat yourself girlie.” A chubby man wearing a greasy apron barked at her as he headed toward Mr. Finley with a bowl of soup and a pile of crackers.

Abby gripped the newspaper tightly and attempted to follow the waiter, but found her feet stuck to the floor. They refused to budge. Her terrified mind admonished her to turn and go home. She took two steps back. The newspaper fell from her hand.”

Just what happens to Abby from this point on is both a wonderful and terrible story of pain, hope and new beginnings. Abby: Finding More Than Gold is a joy to read regardless of your age.

 

2012: Creating Your Own Shift

Copyright 2011 by Hunt Henion, published by Shift Awareness Books http://www.ShiftAwareness.com

The coming of the year 2012 brings curiosity and a touch of fear to all of our minds. Unlike the Y2K fear, 2012 has been foretold in prophecy for thousands of years from ancient and aboriginal people. What does it mean? Who will it affect? Is it the end? What will happen to us?

These are a few of the many questions 2012: Creating Your Own Shift answers, or at least lays the foundations for the answers while giving you additional resources to turn to for more in-depth study.

2012: Creating Your Own Shift is an anthology from some of the foremost minds regarding the 2012 phenomenon, the belief systems attached to it and the modern quantum physics that may support the underlying 2012 theories.

2012: Creating Your Own Shift helps you prepare for the coming entrance into the age of Aquarius and the alignment of 2012 that is believed by many to bring an end to existing polarities and paradigms while opening up a higher existence to those on earth.

2012: Creating Your Own Shift allows you to meet the coming of 2012 and the era it foretells without fear but with full knowledge beforehand of what you should expect and do to prepare. It is not a fatalistic survivors’ manual but a real handbook of spiritual preparations to purify your body and spirit for the days ahead. If you have any level of interest in the 2012 phenomenon then 2012: Creating Your Own Shift should be on your bookshelf.

Another wonderful book giveaway from KidLit at Adventures in Children’s Publishing, to enter go to the site and leave a comment. There are four giveaways this week. Tweets are encouraged but not required. Here’s the link http://childrenspublishing.blogspot.com/2011/01/in-stores-this-week-with-interviews_10.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+blogspot%2Fkidlit+%28Adventures+in+Children%27s+Publishing%29 and good luck.

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