Sunday, 20 July 2014

Embarrassing Confessions of a Bibliophile

It's time to come clean.

I like to classify stuff, you know, organize and label. And this rings true for my bookshelves as well. Some books are great for rainy days, and others are perfect murder mysteries to read on that long flight or a weekend at the cottage.

But I have other labels too *lowers voice* ones I'm not proud of. These are my book confessions.

Confession #1. The Book I Stole From The Library

Frog and Toad Are Friends

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Okay, I know stealing is wrong and this is no excuse, but I was in grade two and it was raining heavily that day. I dropped the book in the puddle where it sucked up a gallon of water. The thing swelled like Harry Potter's Aunt Marge.

I stashed the thick mess under my bed, hoping it would somehow magically fix itself before it was due back at the library.

It didn't.

However, back then (1978) I guess the librarian at my school was so distracted by the approaching summer vacation and its promises of tanned cabana boys or whatever she did in the off season—that she never came looking for that book. Frog and Toad Are Friends is still mine to this day.


Confession #2. The Book I Pretend To Have Read

The Hobbit

I was thirteen. The first three paragraphs were about a gnarled tree stump. I haven't picked it up since.



Confession #3. The Book I've Read The Most


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This is kind of two confessions in one, because my artsy fartsy answer is Pride and Prejudice (read eight times), but the real answer is Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone (read ten times).


Confession #4. The Book I Never Finished

Mr. Churchill's Secretary

Okay, there are several titles that fit this category, but this mystery novel is the most recent I haven't been able to finish. I kept falling asleep. I stuck it out until page 110, but I couldn't get any farther. I'm going to try again someday, you know when a bout of insomnia hits.


Confession #5. The Book In Which I'm Totally In Love With One of the Characters

Pride and Prejudice

Mr. Darcy. Mr. Darcy. Mr. Darcy.


Confession #6. Book I Bought Purely Because Of The Cover

Hush, Hush


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This was when angels falling from the sky wearing only tight jeans was something of a novelty. Now you can't go for a walk without getting hit by one of those suckers.


Confession #7. The Book I Will Never Read

Fifty Shades of Grey

Life is too short. I read a few paragraphs composed mainly of the main character asking herself questions and biting her lower lip. That was enough for me.


Confession #8. The Book I Will Never Recommend

Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell

It's on my bookshelf as a testament to how stubborn a reader I can be. That sucker weighed in at 782 pages. Although there is one memorable scene, that only accounts for two of those 782 pages. I heard that it's been optioned for a movie. Good, choose that option instead.

Sorry, I hate being a critic, but confession is good for the soul. Let me know your answers!





Thursday, 17 July 2014

BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!!!

I. AM. AWESOME.

...And so are YOU!

So stop keeping it a secret and show off how awesome you are.

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Seriously, in case anyone hasn't told you lately. Now go take on the day!







Friday, 4 July 2014

Are You a Book Pirate?

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I don't mean like Captain Hook or Long John Silver. I mean the book pirate who makes copies of hard copy books and original ebooks, and either sells them or makes them available on the internet for free.

People are still confused as to why this is wrong.

The truth is not many writers are able to support themselves solely by writing, which means most writers have another job.

Why should you care?

Well, let's say you happen upon a terrific book and you're delighted that it's going to be a series. But, oh man—it ends with a cliffhanger and you'll have to WAIT for months or even the next year for the sequel.

Wouldn't it be great if your favorite author wrote faster?

I'm sure they would love that too. But when they don't make enough revenue from book sales to write full time they may only get to work on their novels on the weekend, which means the book you're waiting for will take even LONGER to get on the shelf.

So book pirating affects readers...everywhere.

Still confused? Have you ever said this...

#1. "It doesn't matter if I copy this published book on my blog/tumblr/facebook page for free because the author is super rich."

It's not only the author who is losing revenue. The publisher, the editor, the people who design book covers, and most importantly the local bookstore are all losing out too.

Pirated books don't count in sales figures.

Publishers like to use these numbers to forecast what kinds of books people are buying to help them mainstream which authors/genres they should spotlight. If you're reading pirated books, you're decreasing the chance of another author (probably someone who has written a story you'd love) from getting a book deal.

#2. "It's not illegal. I'm not making any money."

Actually it is illegal. And why should you make money from something you had no hand in creating?

#3. "It's posted for free on the author's website so it's not book pirating."

Sorry, wrong again. Anything that anyone writes is copyrighted by law. Unless you have written permission from the author to post their work on your site, then you're a book pirate.

#4. "Authors should be lucky anyone is reading their book."

If that's how you truly feel, you've missed the whole point of reading the book.

#5.  "I can't afford to buy the book and the waiting list at the library is too long."

Perhaps this would be a good time for you to join a book club. The thing about book clubs is that a lot of members OWN books. Chances are someone in your school has a copy of that very book you're dying to read.

And guess what? Maybe you'll meet someone who loves books as much as you, and then you'll start your own book review blog. And before you know it publishers are contacting you to do reviews and sending you ARCs...for FREE! Then you can have contests so that other people (just like you) can read books for free without pirating.

I know most people who pirate books won't be swayed by this post, but I'm hoping there's at least one person who gets this and will make the decision to stop pirating. I hope that person is you.

And who says you can't read an amazing book for FREE?

Check out Wattpad for oodles of genres and even previews and contests from famous authors. If you're not on there, you should go...like right now. While you're there, check out NIGHT SHIFT.

Congratulations! You made it to the end of this post. Please enjoy this memorable scene from one of my favorite pirates.






Monday, 30 June 2014

Spend Canada Day With a Great Canadian Author

My official list is much too long to include in this blog, but here is a random sampling of my favorite Canadian authors. There's a genre for every mood. Happy reading!

The Republic of Love by Carol Shields

A contemporary story told in two alternating points of view that proves no matter how willing you are to believe the opposite, there is such a thing as love at first sight.

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An Audience of Chairs by Joan Clark

Hilarious and heart breaking at the same time. A mother mourns for the two daughters she lost as a young woman.

Through a series of flashbacks, we learn about the devastating effects of Moranna’s mental illness on her life and that of her family. But An Audience of Chairs also gives us a glimpse into the mind of a true iconoclast and wild spirit, who has managed despite overwhelming odds to keep hope alive.—Goodreads

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Pluto's Ghost by Sheree Fitch

A male point of view love story/tragedy/mystery with a voice so authentic it reads like a diary.

Jake Upshore has loved Skye Derucci since before he can remember. Volatile, complex and frustrated (he's got a label disorder from all the labels he's been given) at the best of times, Jake's on a desperate quest to find Skye before she aborts the baby he believes is his. As he hurtles headlong toward certain tragedy, Jake relives the fatal choices he's made and the powerful forces that have led him to this to end. A gripping thriller and a heart-wrenching love story, Pluto's Ghost is a raw and powerful novel about anger, escape, and redemptive love.—Goodreads

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The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson

A badly disfigured burn victim is visited in the hospital by another patient—a woman from the psychiatric wing. She tells him they were lovers in a past life, and so begins the epic love story of how they've met again after centuries.

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The Sisters Brothers by Partick deWitt

This book proves you CAN judge a book by its cover. This is one fabulous Western romp.


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Random Passage by Bernice Morgan

A pregnant stow away, an English family forced to escape to another land to save a thieving brother, a holy man, a murderer, and a young girl who starts a diary detailing all their secrets and miseries as they struggle to build a new life on the inhospitable shores of Newfoundland.

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February by Lisa Moore


In 1982, the oil rig Ocean Ranger sank off the coast of Newfoundland during a Valentine's Day storm. All eighty-four men aboard died. February is the story of Helen O'Mara, one of those left behind.—Goodreads 



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The Love of a Good Woman by Alice Munro

Of course you're going to read this. *cough* Nobel Prize *cough*


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The White Bone by Barbara Gowdy


Plunged into an alien landscape, readers orient themselves in elephant time, elephant space, and elephant consciousness, and begin to feel, as Gowdy puts it, what it would be like to be that big and gentle, to be that imperiled, and to have that prodigious memory.—Goodreads


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The Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel

Victor and Konrad are the twin brothers Frankenstein and inseparable until Konrad falls gravely ill. In the forbidden Dark Library, Victor finds an ancient formula, and seeks an alchemist to recreate the Elixir of Life.—Goodreads



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What books will you be reading this holiday?







Thursday, 26 June 2014

The Writing Process Blog Hop!

The Writing Process Blog Hop. AKA “My Mission Statement.”

I've been tagged by YA writer, Alex Karola to be part of a blog hop!

You can find her here and on Wattpad


"My characters are 'successful losers.' They haven't realized the rest of the world doesn't see failure in them." Alex Karola

FYI, during the day Alex teaches high school English.

Ten Points for Ravenclaw!!


And now, * drumroll* I'm supposed to talk about my writing process...

*Makes face*

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1. What am I working on?
 


I recently finished the last edits for my YA coming of age novel, BUTTERFLIES DON'T LIE.

So now I have more time to devote to BLACK FRIDAY, the second book in the NIGHT SHIFT series. You can read that YA paranormal mystery for FREE on Wattpad. Go ahead...don't be shy.


2. How is my work different from others of its genre?

It's FREE! Plus, the MC is a dude. Not rare of course, but most paranormal romances are in the first person with a female lead. And I dig the creepy yet stylish mystery of the old department store. I hope you'll give it a chance.

3. Why do I write what I do?

I write because I have to. I write the stories I want to read. I write to stop the voices in my head.

4. How does my writing process work?

I sit in the chair and make myself keep writing sentences until I have enough of a mess to edit. I'm a fan of sticky notes. I have a simple outline of the major events. Before I write a scene, I list all the things that have to happen before the end of that chapter.

I'm a fan of cliffhangers too, but not too many in a row. Also, if your 'pickle of a situation' keeps ending with an easy solution, the cliffhangers will lose their effect. Readers want conflict!

Now I encourage you to check out the blogs of these other splendid people who will share their answers next week:

Ally Hayes

Lisa Ann O'Kane

Natalie Sampson


 

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Six YA Books to Match Your Every Mood This Summer

Whether you're a 'sway in the hammock' or a 'lounge by the dock' kind of summer reader, I've got the YA books to meet all your different moods this season.

Feeling like you need more smart ass contemporary teen angst in your life? Need a tickle in the funny bone? Then Summer on the Short Bus by Bethany Crandell the novel for you, my friend.




Looking for a paranormal romance that's heavy on the mystery yet full of swoony moments? Aspen by Rebekah Crane will fulfill your needs.




Need some fantasy drama with a kick butt female lead? Check out Gates of Thread and Stone by Lori M. Lee.



Are you looking for the next clue that will lead you to a sophisticated who-done-it? Jewel of the Thames is just what Sherlock Holmes would suggest. Check out this YA mystery novel by Angela Misri.






Are you a lover of cool dudes who can talk to dead people? Heather Marie has written the book for you, The Gate Through Which They Came.




Does your perfect romance include magic and hidden worlds within our own? Megan Whitmer's Between is what you need.







What books are you looking forward to reading this summer? See you by the pool!

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Top Ten Times You Totally Wished You Were Emma Swan

Despite being hunted by villains every episode of Once Upon A Time, determined to wreck any chance she has at happiness, Emma Swan is still having a whole lotta good times.

The Top Ten Times You Totally Wished You Were Emma Swan

#1. Hanging out with the Mad Hatter

I counted one thousand, two hundred and sixteen 'smoldering stare' moments. Plus this, 'nuzzle the tip of your ear while I talk into your hair' moment wasn't half bad either.


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 #2. Kissing Cap'n Sexy Eyes

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#3. Having Snow White and Prince Charming love you unconditionally.


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#4. Eating this donut!



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#5. Slaying this dragon in one shot!!!


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#6. Flying in a magic ship!



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#7. Finding out you have magical powers at the most convenient time.




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#8. Kissing Schmexy.


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#9. Riding a motorcycle with this dude!


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#10. Always having 'shampoo commercial worthy' hair.

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Check out my other Once Upon A Time blogs here on Pinterest!



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