Tags: books

Read and Writing

An e-book company gave away books on Halloween, and I was so excited because free books are free books, but then I realized today they end right before the point where it looks like all hope is lost. They just gave away teasers. Mean. But smart, too.

Writing has been pretty strange for me the last few monsths. Strange in that for the first time in a decade,I haven't been doing much of it. At first it didn't bother me not to write. I was a mess from the broken ankle, and DD was getting ready to go away to school, and I had a million books to read.

For the past week, though, something's changed. It started Monday when I had a dream that was a complete plot beginning to end. I woke up stunned but pretty sure I must've read the book sometime in the past and it just played out movie form in my dreams. Very strange. Since then ideas have been hitting me left and right. Still I turn on the computer and do something other than write the ideas down. The ideas are there, but I'm not telling the stories. I don't know why. It's like I've taken so much time off, I'm afraid to even make the attempt.

So I'm just going to do it. The fear can be there. I don't care. I'm going to write for me.


I read Dracula for the first time this week, and I LOVED it. I don't know why I never really thought about reading it before. I loved the 90s movie. The book is NOTHING like the movie, but it grabbed me from the very beginning and kept me on the edge of my seat I kept my electronic dictionary open so I could look up words I didn't really know even though I could've figured out the meaning from context clues. Nerdy, I know, but I love learning new words. The book was written in 1897 and it still resonates. Most interesting: It wasn't Holy Water Van Helsing used. It was Holy Wafer.
I'm going to suggest they add this book to the reading list. I think I learned as much from it as I did from Pride and Prejudice. Maybe even more.
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Too Much

So I've been working on my latest WIP, trying to find humor and fun, and I think I've done that, but I still don't have the character's voice down yet. The plot is fine, and the laughs are there, but not in HER voice. I still hear me, and that won't work. I need to find her. She's a little Daria but a little more Willow from season 1 Buffy. At least that's how I see her when I close my eyes.
I haven't picked up the latest in the Twilight series, but I did spend the weekend reading Stephenie Myers interviews. DANG is she amazing. Melissa Marr won the YA Rita for Wicked Lovely. It's a well deserved award. Until recently Marr was my 8th grade niece's current favorite. Wicked Lovely was unseated recently by Libba Bray. I'm hearing young girls everywhere talking about Bray's Gemma Doyle series. DD actually read the first, A Great and Terrible Beauty, when it came out. The library featured it that summer. Then DD went to high school and forgot about the book until recently. This summer, she caught up, and she's LOVED it. When I go back to school, I hope to bring the series with me. I might have to keep it on my desk instead of in the bookshelf. From what I've heard so far, I think it will be in high demand.

A Great and Terrible Beauty:
It’s 1895, and after the suicide of her mother, 16-year-old Gemma Doyle is shipped off from the life she knows in India to Spence, a proper boarding school in England. Lonely, guilt-ridden, and prone to visions of the future that have an uncomfortable habit of coming true, Gemma’s reception there is a chilly one. To make things worse, she’s been followed by a mysterious young Indian man, a man sent to watch her. But why? What is her destiny? And what will her entanglement with Spence’s most powerful girls—and their foray into the spiritual world—lead to?

Rebel Angels
Gemma Doyle is looking forward to a holiday from Spence Academy—spending time with her friends in the city, attending balls in fancy gowns with plunging necklines, and dallying with the handsome Lord Denby. Yet amid these distractions, her visions intensify—visions of three girls dressed in white, to whom something horrific has happened that only the realms can explain.
The lure is strong, and soon Gemma, Felicity, and Ann are turning flowers into butterflies in the enchanted world that Gemma takes them to. To the girls' great joy, their beloved Pippa is there as well, eager to complete their circle of friendship.
But all is not well in the realms—or out. Kartik is back, desperately insisting to Gemma that she must bind the magic, lest colossal disaster befall her. Gemma is willing to comply, for this would bring her face-to-face with her late mother's greatest friend, now Gemma's foe—Circe. Until Circe is destroyed, Gemma cannot live out her destiny. But finding Circe proves a most perilous task. . . .
This sumptuous companion to
A Great and Terrible Beauty teems with Victorian thrills and chills that play out against the rich backdrop of 1895 London, a place of shadows and light . . . where inside great beauty can lie a rebel angel.

The Sweet Far Thing

It has been a year of change since Gemma Doyle arrived at the foreboding Spence Academy. Her mother murdered, her father a laudanum addict, Gemma has relied on an unsuspected strength and has discovered an ability to travel to an enchanted world called the Realms, where dark magic runs wild. Despite certain peril, Gemma has bound the magic to herself and forged unlikely new alliances. Now, as Gemma approaches her London debut, the time has come to test these bonds.
The Order—the mysterious group her mother was once part of—is grappling for control of the Realms, as is the Rakshana. Spence's burned East Wing is being rebuilt, but why now? Gemma and her friends see Pippa, but she is not the same. And their friendship faces its gravest trial as Gemma must decide once and for all what role she is meant for.

**Above book info from Google search and WIkipedia

The Healer

Book Review created by mbl on August 2nd, 2008, 7:47pm

The Healer

The Healer

Sharon Sala

All his life, Jonah Gray Wolf has had an uncanny connection to
animals and the power to heal the sick and wounded. Driven from the
only home he's ever known by those who wish to harness his gift for
profit, he becomes a drifter, working in out-of-the-way towns, never
staying long. It's a lonely life, but Jonah knows he's still being
hunted—he can't afford to get close to anyone who might learn his

In West Virginia he finds Luce, a tough but beautiful
loner who knows all about keeping people at a distance—a kindred soul
with whom he might dare to make a life. But the hunters have caught
Jonah's scent again. Danger is coming to their mountain refuge—a
confrontation that will be decided only by a force of nature.

There are books that stand out in my mind as incomparable: Howard's Mackenzie's Mountain, Nora's Born In trilogy, Crusie's Fast Women, SEP's Dream a Little Dream and Margot Early's The Keeper and Under the Mistletoe. Sharon Sala has written one to be added to the list in The Healer. It might even go to the front of the list. It is that good. I just need time to process what I've read and a few months to see if it still has that power. But right now, in the fewminutes after I closed the book, I feel like I've been in the presence of a master story-teller whose books I've always loved but who far surpassed anything of hers I've read before and, honestly, anything of ANYONE's. WOW!!!!!!!! You really HAVE to read this book. It's magical. 

The trouble with toes above nose

is I'm not really tired at the end of the day, so that amazing book I started reading at 7 pm is still great at midnight, and Ive said "Oh NO!" and He better not die" and "Are you kidding me?!?!" and "OMG, this book is good, why have I not read his stuff before" so often that round about midnight DH opens one eye, looks at me and says "BABE, you can't keep reading all night if you're going to keep up the commentary, and I swear, I WANTED to stop reading, but I could NOT put the book down. I HAD to know what happened, had to know if the good guys won the day or if this author was one of the vile type who leads readers on a merry chase and then DESTROYS them at the end by throwing the protagonist under the train, so when 4:30 am hit and I closed the book and felt like I'd been on the best roller coaster ride of my life and I hadn't fallen asleep EVEN with the painkillers---the book was that good--I still woke up at 7:46, logged onto e-Harlequin to blog about it on the 100,000 book challenge and thinking about the book I'm still not sleepy. It really was that good!
The author: Jeffrey Archer
The book: A Prisoner of Birth,

If Danny Cartwright had
proposed to Beth Wilson the day before, or the day after, he would not
have been arrested and charged with the murder of his best friend. And
when the four prosecution witnesses are a barrister, a popular actor,
an aristocrat and the youngest partner in an established firm's
history, who is going to believe his side of the story?

So begins A Prisoner of Birth, Jeffrey Archer's most powerful novel since Kane and Abel, with a cast of characters who will remain with you long after you've turned the last page.

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Ultimate book recommendation

So while I was waiting around for pain meds and realizing that wasn't going to happen, I had my IPod on and started listening to Sophie Kinsella's Can You Keep a Secret. I'd like to say the book took away the pain. It didn't, but it sure as heck did make the whole thing a lot more bearable. Emma Carrigan is a GREAT heroine. And Can You Keep a Secret is an awesome book.

Emma is sitting on a turbulent plane. She's always been a v. nervous flyer. She really thinks that this could be her last moment. So, naturally enough, she starts telling the man sitting next to her - quite a dishy American, but she's too frightened to notice -all her innermost secrets. How she scans the backs of intellectual books and pretends she's read them. How she does her hair up like Princess Leia in her bedroom. How she's not sure if she has a G-spot, and whether her boyfriend could find it anyway. How she feels like a fraud at work - everyone uses the word 'operational' all the time but she hasn't a due what it means. How the coffee at work is horrible. How she once threw a troublesome client file in the bin. If ever there was a bare soul, it's hers. She survives the flight, of course, and the next morning the famous founding boss of the whole mega corporation she works for is coming for a look at the UK branch. As he walks around, Emma looks up and realises... It's the man from the plane. What will he do with her secrets? He knows them all - but she doesn't know a single one of his. Or... does she?
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Audiobook Danger

I subscribed to Audible because I figured working out to stories would be much more fun than working out to music. I was right.
I chose Marian Keyes' Anybody Out There? this month,so fellow Y members got to watch me laugh uncontrollably several times this week, and tear up some. THANK GOD I finished it at home today because for the last five minutes I sobbed.
Loved the book and LOVED listening to it. I'll definitely get more foreign novels on audio!
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Category and contests

I didn't finish the last book I started.
I LOVE category romance, especially during the school year when time is so limited.
When I pick up a book, I know what I'm getting. Each line promises a certain something to their readers, and their readers expect that certain something. When we don't get it, it's frustrating. The book was Nocturne. Every Nocturne I've read has blown me away. I've LOVED the line. And then I started reading this book and it was like Nocturne light AND a little ridiculous.
Nocturne always requires a willing suspension of disbelief. But when I'm constantly saying "oh come on, are you kidding me?!?!" to myself, I have to stop reading.
I picked up Rogue at Wal-Mart this week. YAY! I can't wait to read this book! Rachel Vincent builds an incredible world in her werecat series.  AND I read The Giver this week. OMG, if you haven't read this book, you MUST. I'm going to read 1984 and Brave New World next and then develop a cool lesson.

I've entered a contest and I have four more picked out. I didn't final in GH this year, and I don't think I'll enter again. Instead, I'll take the  expense and put it toward chapter contests. I usually like the feedback I get, even when it's not nice. :-)

Lessons: I put together a multi-media project today that I LOVED and my students responded to also. We've been studying press ethics and my kids pretty much agreed the press was a bunch of dirty skunks AND  the way they intrude on  privacy is never okay and the way they make us feel bad is totally uncool and all news media should just disappear. I kept saying those kinds of statements and my kids kept agreeing with me. NO ONE argued with me, no one questioned me. Twelve weeks into the semester and they haven't learned to question authority. Ugh.
I showed some powerful photos w/ full captions, and I asked the question: Crossing the line OR Doing their jobs. You decide. And I didn't say a word.
VERY Interesting discussion.
Hopefully they get it now.

I'm going to have them watch this this week. And then we're going to talk again.

100,000 Book Challenge

Taller than a 10,000 book TBR pile…, it’s the eHarlequin.com 100,000 Book Challenge!

Once again, eHarlequin.com challenges you to new reading heights. IF we can read 100,000 books in total, we can beat our 2007 record and read a mind-boggling, and unprecedented 100,000 books! But the great news this year is that for every book we read, we'll be donating a book to the National Center for Family Literacy to benefit their literacy programs. The stated mission of the NCFL is to create a literate nation by leveraging the power of the family. Since its inception in 1989, more than one million families throughout the country have made positive educational and economic gains as a result of NCFL’s work, which includes training more than 150,000 teachers and thousands of volunteers.

So...don't just sit there...READ SOMETHING!!

If you enjoy reading, check out the challenge: eharlequin.com
I'm posting my book reviews on my blog there instead of here.
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Michelle Willingham

Michelle Willingham's latest, Her Warrior King, is her best book so far. Great tension, great characters, great plot, great setting, everything about this book is fantastic. Once again Willingham has delivered a book that reminds me of my original love for historical romance, those early days when I'd get calls from my local Waldenbooks letting me know the latest Julie Garwood or Johanna Lindsey was in. In Her Warrior King Irish King Patrick MacEagan is forced to marry Norman Isabel de Godred to save his tribe. Patrick has every intention of giving Isabel her freedom once he's defeated the Normans, but Isabel has other ideas. She wants to serve as real queen to the MacEagans. Patrick admires Isabel, but he won't choose her over his people. From page one I wanted these two to find their happily ever after, but I had no idea how Willingham was going to pull it off, especially when Isabel's father shows up and changes all Patrick's plans. WHOA. The book is available now, but hurry. It's category, so it's only available for a month.

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I go back to work tomorrow. Our school board approved a schedule that didn't give teachers two weeks off this year AND next year. Ugh. I'm supposed to lead some campus workshops tomorrow and all I can think is HOW am I supposed to spin being there into a positive when everyone is going to be so upset with the shorer break? Oh well. As one of my favorite students says attitude is a choice. Now I need to make myself believe that. :-)