Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Afloat by Erin Healy

All it takes is one look at my bookshelf to see I'm a big Erin Healy fan. And Erin's new novel, Afloat, is yet another wonderful example of why I love her books.

Vance Nolan and Danielle Clement are both obligated to Tony Dean for different reasons with the same root: Tony's wealth. With Tony's investment, Vance has created an architectural wonder--floating apartments which line the cove of a peaceful river. But when the peace is shattered by a sudden disaster during construction, Vance, Danielle, and Tony, along with a handful of builders, investors, and residents, are forced together in a struggle to survive. As a single mother, Danielle's first priority is protecting her son, and she soon finds herself conflicted between the opposing plans of Tony and Vance. When Danielle's son Simeon sees glowing blue lights shimmering beneath the surface of the water, the lights become their one link to hope as a powerful storm rages, the world goes black, and a murder occurs in their midst.

Erin has once again crafted an intricate tale of mystery, suspense, and the supernatural that captured my attention from the very start and held it through many a late night when I simply couldn't put it down. She skillfully lays the foundation, giving you just enough to keep you wondering how it will all tie together. But it isn't until the last piece is in place that you realize just how beautiful and complex the completed puzzle is. And she's outdone herself creating a unique, spine-tingling environment worthy of the big screen. Her characters possess real-life flaws and struggles and will quickly capture your heart (which for me means alternating moments of smiles and tears). Ultimately, it's the hope and redemption which is at the core of each of Erin's novels that leads to a truly fulfilling conclusion. I highly recommend Afloat to anyone looking for their next great read. It is a stunning work of fiction that will hold you captivated until the very last page.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Picture Quote Monday {Time}

Today's quote comes from Charles Buxton. There's so much truth to this. Whether it means getting up at 5am, staying up 'til 11pm, or skipping that hour of evening television, make time this week to pursue something you're passionate about.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Liberator by Richard Harland

NOTE: Liberator is the sequel to YA Steampunk novel, Worldshaker. If you haven't read Worldshaker this review may contain spoilers. I suggest you get a copy, read it, then come back.

From pampered future leader to revolution co-conspirator, Col Porpentine's life has drastically changed in just a few short months. Now the peace and equality he and Riff fought so hard for stands in jeopardy. An anti-Filthy saboteur has created violent tension between the Filthies and the Swanks. Add to that a battle for power in The Council and the juggernaut's dwindling coal supply, and the Liberator soon stands on the verge of a crisis. Col and Riff face their biggest challenge yet as they struggle against danger--from within and without--that threatens not only their hopes for a new society, but their hopes for a new life together.

Action. Adventure. Suspence. Romance. You'll find it all here. With each turn of the page comes a new danger. On the heels of each small victory comes an even bigger obstacle. And there was more than one surprise I never saw coming. Harland has created some amazing characters, each with their own strong and unique personality (loveable, hateable, and everything in between). It's this brilliant cast that makes Liberator (and previous novel Worldshaker) really shine in my opinion. Throw all these characters into an enthralling story where the action never stops, and you'd better be prepared to once more get caught up in the world of the Filthies and the Swanks, because I guarantee you're not going to want to put this book down.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Picture Quote Monday {Daring}

dar·ing adjective : disposed to venture or take risks; bold in action or thought


Friday, June 14, 2013

The Small Things - June Edition

My happies for this month...

Alice in Wonderland - On Vinyl

A couple weeks ago the hubby and I hit up a little used record store while on a roadtrip. There I discovered a previously unknown fact: Back in the day they made audiobooks on vinyl. I snagged the entirety of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, read by a gentleman with a wonderful British accent. And it cost me a whole dollar. There's something so cozy and inviting about the old record pops and crackles in the background of the narration. The perfect summer version of curling up with a hardcover and a warm fire.

Veronica Mars

Yes, I got ridiculously excited when I found out about the Kickstarter, and yes, my husband and I promptly pledged. Veronica Mars has always been a guilty pleasure. It came out the same year we got married and many a night was spent watching it together. I was almost as upset about the series ending as I was when Amy Sherman-Palladino stopped writing Gilmore Girls episodes. In honor of the upcoming film, we've been watching the series on DVD. I'm currently awaiting the arrival of my Amazon shipment of season one, since a very inconsiderate library patron is literally YEARS overdue on the last 2 discs. Where are the library ninjas when you need them? They could learn a few things from Mars Investigations... 


Summer is here! Maybe not according to your calendar, but it is by mine. My reason for loving summer has nothing to do with the hot weather (I prefer fall, when the temperature is reasonable.) What makes the current season awesome is that school is out--and as a homeschooling family that means mommy gets a break along with the kids. It also means I don't have to feel guilty about sleeping in in the morning if I'm up writing (or reading) until midnight the previous night.

What about you? What's got you smiling this month?

Monday, June 10, 2013

Picture Quote Monday {Character}

With Father's Day coming up, I wanted to take this Picture Quote Monday to say thank you to the dads in my life. I'm lucky enough to have a dad, father-in-law, and husband who are all great men of character. Happy Father's day to all you dads out there!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

On Milestones and Hope

I reached a new milestone in my writing career this week--I sent out my very first book query! *SQUEEE!* My book has officially left the nest to try and find its place in the world. It was a lot more nerve-wracking than I anticipated and I definitely felt some nervous jitters as I hit send. But that was nothing compared to the excitement I felt when the confirmation email popped up in my inbox.

My first ten pages are sitting in an agent's inbox right now. Whoa.

Now comes 6-8 weeks of waiting. For me, this is one of the hardest parts of being a writer. Not because I have a hard time being patient, but because I have a really hard time being optimistic. I'm much more of a realist when it comes to things like this. Part of me wants to believe my manuscript can and will be accepted by my number-one agency/agent pick on my first try. But the other part of me thinks, if it took sixty queries for a book like The Help to find success, who am I to think I'll find success right off the bat? Plus, there's this feeling that--besides it being statistically unlikely--it wouldn't be fair. After all, so many amazing authors have had to work incredibly hard to land an agent. Who am I to hope I could nail it on a first try? And isn't it better not to hope for too much, so I won't be disappointed if things don't work out?

But despite all of that, I hope. This time, optimism seems to have taken hold of me. I really, truly hope that this particular agent will choose to represent me. Sure, it might not happen. And that's cool. I'll find another potential agent, send another query, and hope some more. Because I realized something as I waffled between optimism and my perception of reality. Even though it may seem like I'm hoping for too much, what point is there in trying if you don't hope for--and even anticipate--success? If all you hope for and expect is failure, your dream is going to have a super sad existence. And dreams aren't meant to be super sad, pessimistic creatures. It goes against their very nature.

So...make your dream happy. Feed it some hope.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Why Is The Ink Always Gone?

This is why I don't complain when magazines and publishers only accept email submissions.