Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Writing, Writing, Busy, Busy

It's official! I am back to writing. Yes, my butt is firmly in the seat and words are being added to the pages. After months of hiatus, I am working on the 2nd book in my Faery Guardian series and it is coming together wonderfully. In fact, I have a working blurb for you. Thanks to everyone who has shown interest in this project:

Sold My Soul to a Frog (short novella) Book 2 in the Faery Guardian Series

She thought her life couldn’t get any worse…and then she met Brimble. He’s a trickster, he’s a…frog.

I, Averil Kavanagh, had thrown away one of my best friends for a guy—a guy I thought I was in love with. What a mistake. But now I had a chance to prove a point to Brett that he couldn’t have any girl he wanted. With the help of a deal I made with a magic welding frog and Brett’s gorgeous basketball teammate, Dylan Breckman, I might make my point or was I losing my heart to Dylan. That just couldn’t be. Dylan was under a spell; he didn’t really care for me. I wasn’t going to make a fool of myself again like I had over Brett. Was I?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Avalon High: a Review

I’ve been a big fan of Meg Cabot’s books for quite a few years now. I love her writing, her sense of humor, her way of getting into the head the modern day teen. (By the way, her blog at http://www.megcabot.com/ is a hoot.) Now I can’t condone all that she’s written, but overall her works are fun reads. Avalon High is no exception. I really loved it.

Avalon High is set in modern day Maryland with heroine Ellie Harrison moving into a new community with her Medieval Studies parents. She begins to realize that all her new acquaintances from Avalon High School may actually be reincarnations of those included in King Arthur lore—most especially Will Wagner aka: Arthur. If you’ve read any of the original King Arthur stories and are familiar with the traditions, you will appreciate what Meg has put together in this novel. She’s taken the idea that after King Arthur died he would return when needed and those supporters of Mordred would try to stop him.

Cabot has written a novel similar to her others in the YA genre. The language and tone is relevant to today’s teens. It’s a fun and enjoyable read. You want to spend time with these characters, to get to know them, to follow them through this adventure to the end, and to see if Ellie and Will are meant to be together and are able to save the world.

Although there are things I love about the Princess Diaries (and Mia is a character who will never be replaced in the sphere of my favorite heroines), I have to say that I enjoyed Avalon High even more so. Maybe it’s the sweet story with a plot strongly revolving around the adventure. Whatever it may be, I definitely give this book my recommendation.

Movie vs. the Book

Now what about the Avalon High movie recently aired on the Disney Channel?

Well, that is a horse of another color. I was really looking forward to the movie. The main character Ellie was to be played by Britt Robertson recently in the short-lived but well-done series Life Unexpected. Unfortunately, the producers completely changed the plot of the book, took away from the original Cabot tale and the excellent connection to the King Arthur storyline. They added unnecessary characters and reworked the intentions of characters to the exact opposite of their original counterpart in the novel. It was actually painful to watch the film, and I felt sorry for Meg that her story has thus been shredded and flambéed. Watch it if you must but do yourself a favor and read the book instead.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Conclusion of the Harry Potter Movie Franchise

Last week I read an article about the conclusion to the Harry Potter films. The story focused on the three leads of the series Daniel Radcliffe (Harry), Rupert Grint (Ron) and Emma Watson (Hermione). I truly found the article refreshing. Here are these three young people who have made a name and a good deal of money for themselves off of these films. They've spent half of their lives with many of the people making these films and I'm happy to report that they are insightful enough to be appreciative of it all from the great opportunity of being a part of this franchise to recognizing the people behind the films. In many ways they are going to miss this part of their lives. It's become such a part of them. More than that, they are really going to miss all of these people associated with the films as they go on into their adult lives.

I also enjoyed seeing how the three of them have grown over the years, what their perspectives are now on film and such, and what they have planned for the future. Some of their experiences were so opposite and yet they were working on the same film. I say good for all of them. I've always thought they were a good group and hope to hear that they've overcome the plight of many kid stars (especially those who grew up in Hollywood) to become healthy, happy adults in whatever pursuits they decide upon.

Good luck Daniel, Rupert and Emma!

Part One of the Deathly Hallows releases November 19th.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Outstanding New Review

I just received another review for Struck by Conscience. I have to commend the reviewer. She really wrote a detailed and insightful review. She seemed to really 'get' it and get my characters and most especially she got the point of the story. I loved her words about Charisma (Risa for short): She is definitely one of the best written characters I've seen in a while.

Here is the end of the review:

My favorite thing about this story was the fact that what most teenage girls strive for wasn't what Risa wanted and it made her such a strong character. Torn between life changing moments, confused feelings of love and loss from what she's been so used to, C.K. Green makes Risa feel so real to the reader. The things people might think are important really aren't what defines you as a person. When life takes you to a cross road which road will you take? I think Ms. Green wrote a great heart felt story with little whimsical twists following Risa around. Hopefully, there will be more of Risa and Dahlia to look forward to in the future. It really was an impressive coming-of-age story. It made this reader fall into the story from the moment Risa fell into that pool.

~Forsythia, Aurora--Long and Short of it Reviews

Friday, October 8, 2010

James Franco--Actor & Writer…Umm Excuse Me?

So, I opened my Entertainment Weekly magazine this afternoon and perused an article about James Franco and an exclusive excerpt from his upcoming book release. Who knew James Franco could write?

Now I know this isn’t so very exciting because of late there have been quite a number of celebrities out there who think they can write when in fact they  (a) aren’t actually doing the writing or (b) the writing is subpar (and I’m being generous here). As an author myself, it infuriates me when these celebrities use their fame to publish without putting in the effort or the talent. It’s just not right.

That’s simply not the case with Franco. This is a project he’s been working on for five years under the tutelage of some noteworthy professors and novelists. Mona Simpson, Amy Hempel, and Michael Cunningham.

The star of the Spiderman trilogy, Tristan + Isolde, the Julia Roberts film Eat, Pray, Love and recently a stint on the soap General Hospital wasn’t just given his writing contract. He actually earned it. According to the article, Franco is currently attending Yale working on his PhD. Looking into his academic record, I see he started at UCLA in creative writing but dropped out after a year to study acting. Eventually, he went back and finished that degree. He wanted his schoolmates to realize his serious intent. In his final quarter at UCLA, he took 62 units instead of the normal cap of 19. He later attended film school at NYU and studied for his graduate degree at Columbia. Seeing all his academic achievement, I can finally forgive him for Pineapple Express.
Good for you James Franco. Though I haven’t had the opportunity to read the book, I applaud his hard work and wish the best for the short story collection release. Palo Alto (incidentally that’s where in California Franco was born and grew up) hits stores October 19th.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Review: Sucks to Be Me

Sucks To Be Me
by Kimberly Pauley

Blurb: Mina Hamilton's parents want her dead. (Or undead to be precise.) They're vampires, and like it or not, Mina must decide whether to become a vampire herself. But Mina's more interested in hanging out with best friend Serena and trying to catch the eye of the too-hot-for-high-school Nathan Able than in the vampire training classes she's being forced to take. How's a girl supposed to find the perfect prom date and pass third-year French when her mom and dad are breathing down her neck--literally?

In a word I'd have to say that Sucks to Be Me by Kimberly Pauley was terrific. Absolutely loved it. I've read that the sequel is now out in hardback. I can't wait to 'sink my teeth' into it. Okay I know, bad vampire joke.

The book is cute without being cutsey. (Cutesy? Is it a word?) If you're into the whole vampire genre you'll enjoy it too because it shows the lighthearted side of being a vampire--and I love to laugh. Reading it reminds me of why I really didn't care for Twilight. Ms. Pauley's writing is sharp, fun, active. a great read!

This book is a great example of why I love YA fiction. There are some great lines in the book. Here is an example. At the beginning of each chapter a vampire myth is given and the main character's take on the reality of the statement. I found these to all be really great but this one made me laugh until I couldn't catch my breath.

Myth: a stake through the heart will kill a vampire.
Truth: well duh, it would kill anyone.

I don't know why that hit me as being so funny. It must be the profound simplicity of it. This is just a sample of the humor in this book.

The one thing I would have to complain about  is that the author compares the eyes of a hot guy in the book with Tom Welling's except green. Um, hello Tom's eyes are green! Sorry no disrespect, Ms. Pauley. Loved the book, but I've loved Tom's eyes longer. ;)

Mrs. Pauley's rendition of vampirism is much more controlled and organized. Vampires don't just rip into their prey willy-nilly and you can't turn someone to the other side at whim. There are rules, procedures, a bureaucracy, etc. She makes them less scary. They aren't as animalistic like they are going to attack you at any moment. For me, it was a good version and perfect for the YA reader. I give it an A.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Teen Reviews for Struck

Well, I had a couple teens offer to review my book, Struck by Conscience, and I've already received a couple back.


C.K. Green did an amazing job with this book. The storyline is flawless. It was cute, and romantic, without being too sappy, and it had a little humor thrown in there. I loved the characters. They were all very relatable, and they had realistic personalities. This book was great, and I would definitely recommend it. ~ Kate

When I first read “Struck by Conscience” I thought it would be just another teen book about a girl trying to decide between two guys she really likes.  But this book surprised me by being more than that. While I read it, it was like I was Charisma saying goodbye to my Dahlia and hello to a whole new stage of life.  This book made me chuckle, cry, and smile so big.  I desperately wanted to be Charisma so I could be with Heath.  That is how real he was for me. Cindy creates characters you fall in love with.  As with a few of the other books I’ve read from Cindy, she always manages to squeeze in references to her love of classic literature.  In this book its Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte.  I promise that when you finish reading this book, like me,  you’ll want a sequel! ~ Bluann  
Thanks for the great reviews, ladies! If anyone else is interested in reviewing, I have a couple more copies I can send out. Also, if you are interesed in contributing articles to this blog just send me an email.