Monday, January 31, 2011

What's on the Nightstand? #8? Witch and Wizard

    It's been a few nice evenings of needed mental rest thankfully. The snow didn't materialize last week as predicted, the hubs is feeling better and I am anxiously waiting to get back to my writing. All around, lots of positive. Taking a break after finishing a rough draft is not an easy thing, necessary, but not at all easy. I tend to have to force myself to put it down and leave it alone. When the tank is empty though, nothing good pours out no matter how much I want it to.
    The major drawback to this is when I'm not actively writing, my sleep is terribly disturbed by dreams. Not so much nightmares, though there have been a few, but just vivid dreaming. My nightstand is littered with post-its in the mornings from me waking up and needing to put the dreams on paper. Sometimes it looks like my youngest wrote it instead of me. I like to think of these nocturnal irritations as my creative tank being refilled. I have the best intentions of allowing myself two weeks to rest but it usually only ends up being about five days before the dreaming starts to grate my nerves.
    To pass the daytime, I chose one of the books my oldest got for Christmas for my reading this week. It's a small book by my standards and I finished it in one afternoon. Considering who wrote it, I thought it might be best to peruse the work before my kid read it just to be careful.
    I think of James Patterson as mainly a adult fiction writer so I was leery of my kid asking to read these books at first. For this piece he's partnered with Gabrielle Charbonnet and this is my first experience with Charbonnet's work. From what I understand though she's quite the accomplished author.
    There are two published books in this story so far, "W" Witch and Wizard and "G" The Gift. After reviewing the jackets in Books a Million, they sounded very interesting. Oldest Son was thrilled.
    I completely enjoyed this book and it was exactly the rest my brain needed, uncomplicated while still being extremely interesting. The flow was smooth, stimulating and expertly designed. I found my mind being drawn to line after line easily.That's my favorite kind of reading. There was no forcing myself to read any part of this book. But I expected nothing less from Mr. Patterson.
 Whit and Wisty Allgood, brother and sister, are teenagers growing up in a strange and quickly changing world. The story is set in a very changed present where their most important task used to be staying out of detention and getting good grades but now it's surviving after being torn from their home in the middle of the night and thrown in prison, accused of being a witch and a wizard. A government upheaval has turned the world as they know it into the confusing and scary system of Ones run by the New Order's leader, The One Who Is The One.
    This unusual kind of verbiage was difficult for me to wrap my brain around at first but after the first chapter I got it. Actually, I recommend you read the "Excerpt of New Order Propaganda" in the very back of the book before starting the story. The words that are strange are defined there and that helps a lot.
    Wisty is my kind of girl, sharp, witty and hardheaded. But what fifteen year old girl with red hair wouldn't be? Behind all that tough girl is a girl who loves her family but is scared out of her wits.Almost eighteen year old Whit on the other hand, is a wonderful character and one I didn't expect at first. He's actually my favorite. Their relationship gives me the mental picture of fire and ice. He's a well built and handsome boy, almost a man who's soft and sweet on the inside. All the while, he's totally unaware of how awesome he comes across to the opposite sex. Is there anything better? This was a wonderful read and one that I would recommend as a reader and parent. 
Till then,

The subject of a Time magazine feature called, "The Man Who Can't Miss," James Patterson is the bestselling author of the past year, bar none, with more than 16 million books sold in North America alone. In 2007, one of every fifteen hardcover fiction books sold was a Patterson title. In the past three years, James has sold more books than any other author (according to Bookscan), and in total, James's books have sold an estimated 170 million copies worldwide. He is the first author to have #1 new titles simultaneously on The New York Times adult and children's lists and is the only author to have five new hardcover novels debut at #1 on the list in one year—a record-breaking feat he's accomplished every year since 2005. To date, James Patterson has had nineteen consecutive #1 New York Times bestselling novels, and holds the New York Times record for most Hardcover Fiction bestselling titles by a single author (56 total), which is also a Guinness World Record.
From his James Patterson Pageturner Awards (which rewarded groups and individuals for creative and effective ways to spread the joy of reading) to his website (which helps adults find books that kids are sure to love) to his regular donations of thousands of books to troops overseas, Patterson is a lifelong champion of books and reading. His first foray into books for all ages was the critically acclaimed Maximum Ride series, which debuted on the New York Times bestsellers list at #1 and remained there for twelve straight weeks. The series has so far made appearances on The New York Times bestsellers lists ninety-four cumulative times, proving that kids of all ages love page turners. He captured the attention of boy readers with the Daniel X series, and his third series for readers of all ages debuted in December 2009 with Witch & Wizard, which spent five consecutive weeks atop the New York Times bestsellers list.
Patterson is the creator of the #1 new detective series of the past dozen years, featuring Alex Cross and including the Hollywood-adapted "Along Came a Spider" and "Kiss the Girls," starring Academy Award-winning actor Morgan Freeman. He is also the creator of the #1 new detective series of the past five years, featuring Lindsay Boxer and the other members of the Women's Murder Club, from which the ABC television drama series was adapted. He has authored books behind six films on the Hollywood fast-track, including the upcoming Maximum Ride movie forthcoming from Avi Arad, the producer of X-Men and Spiderman.
He is the author of novels—from The Thomas Berryman Number (1976) to Honeymoon (2005)—that have won awards including the Edgar, the BCA Mystery Guild's Thriller of the Year, the International Thriller of the Year award, and the Reader's Digest Reader's Choice Award. And, he has won a Children's Choice Book Council's Children's Choice Awards "Author of the Year" award (2010).
One of Forbes magazine's Celebrity 100, James made a guest appearance on the popular FOX TV show "The Simpsons" in March, 2007. ( Bio)
 To follow Mr. Patterson's work and find out more visit his website
To learn more about Ms. Charbonnet's work, visit

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Sixth Song from the Play List

View DetailsHere is song number six from the play list. Before I get on to that though, I need to give a quick shout out to all those who are following from the now twenty-two different countries around the world, most recently India, Spain, Mexico, Chile, Greece, Poland, Austria, Italy and Brazil. Welcome, welcome  WELCOME!! I sincerely hope you are enjoying visiting and thanks for helping to push the blog past the 1000 mark in under two months!
     Now my girl Avril Lavigne has just launched new songs on the accursed Itunes and such so I’m happy her turn on the play list came around right now. The new songs are doing really well last she tweeted so I’m very happy for her. More than that, I seriously hope actual CD’s are being burned and sold in stores for those of us who detest the Ipod. Give me my six disc player that I got back in high school and my Cd's and I'm good. That old thing still sounds better than anything out now.
    Avril holds court in the top five of my all time favorite musicians. Every time I get to hang out with Number One of the two coolest nieces in the world I feel like I have my own personal Avril because they look so much alike. ha ha! I think my Number One is a little taller but everything else is so similar it’s creepy. (in this photo: Number Two and Number One)
     Now for how this song relates to the the story. This point of view belongs to Neely. My girl is suffering right about now. Songs #5 and #6 are linked in the same scene. Very intense, very…honestly...I don’t have a good word to use without giving something away. I’ll leave you to figure out her personal brand of suffering on your own. But Is there anything worse than being afraid to say something? Fear is a strange and horrible thing in all forms. Fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of succeeding, fear of doing that one thing that will change everything into what you want or mess it all up. Choose your own favor of misery and plug it in, it will all work. No matter what you're afraid of, it makes it even more terrifying and infuriating when it strangles you silent.  
    Song number six is from Avril's first album, Let Go. She’s done lots of amazing song writing since this one but it’s still one of my faves. So without anymore of my yammering on, here’s the sixth song from my play list.

Till then,
follow her on twitter or visit her website for more info on all the things she's doing these days.

Avril Lavigne...Things I'll Never Say
*this is a fan made video 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

What's on the Nightstand? #7

    It has been one doozy of a week around this joint! At 3:35 a.m. on Saturday I typed the last sentence into the rough draft of my second novel. *squeeeee* I sat for at least ten minutes afterwards just staring into the screen, brain completely drained of words. As I type this blog, I'm printing the monster out, all 356 pages. Don't fret tree hugger's, I reuse. Honestly, finishing the first draft of a book is the strangest feeling. So strange, I actually don't think I can describe it well enough to explain myself, but I'm going to try. 
    Writing feels a lot like pouring something out of a huge container slowly. There's no half way to writing. If you don't open yourself up completely, drivel comes out. No one wants to read drivel by the way. Night after night, I'd be drenched in fantastic conversation and descriptions as the words would splash and drip out of the tips of my fingers. Until finally, I upended the thing and it was done. The creative release was buzz-worthy.
    Having explained all that, hopefully you can understand my reasoning behind doing a re-read this week. I never stop reading, even when I'm working on my own books. It's necessary really. I have to look at something else in between working to cleanse the palate so to speak. 
    The featured author this week, Cassandra Clare, is setting the book world ablaze at the moment. Bless her, Cassie's tweets nearly blow my phone up everyday. I don't know how she does it. She is one of the most giving writers to her fans I've ever seen. She answers question after question all day and into the night. I'm amazed truly. Now add to this, a book release this spring, City of Fallen Angels May 2011, and City of Bones being cast for a movie and I think you get the idea how wild her life must be. Best of all, she writes one heck of a good book. 
9781416975861  Clockwork Angel is the prequel to Cassie's first three books. City of Bones, City of Ashes and City of Glass. They are all really, really good. With so many new and exciting things going on for her, and since it had been a while since I read CA, I decided this was a great time to do a re-read.
    Tess, principal female character is alone. She's lost her parents as a child, her brother has run off to England and now her Aunt has passed away. Thankfully, her brother sends for her to join him in England. Mistakenly, she thinks this will be a wonderful new life for them both. Throw in Cassies' beautiful new world of complex characters and Tess's adventures do not disappoint. The wit is sharp, the descriptions are gorgeous and the characters are so colorful you need rainbow colored glasses to see all the hotness and glitter.  
I've said it before, I'm a sucker for a gorgeous cover and these covers are awesome! The cover is the reason I picked up City of Bones in the first place. Two days later, I went back to Books a Million and bought the other two.
   Clockwork Angel was wonderful the first time around and is turning out to be even better the second. Cassie's series is classified as young adult and it crosses over for sure. A wonderful read I would recommend to all.
    Cassie's other books as well as updates on how the series is growing and changing can be found on her website. 

Cassandra Clare was born to American parents in Teheran, Iran and spent much of her childhood travelling the world with her family, including one trek through the Himalayas as a toddler where she spent a month living in her father’s backpack. She lived in France, England and Switzerland before she was ten years old. Since her family moved around so much she found familiarity in books and went everywhere with a book under her arm. She spent her high school years in Los Angeles where she used to write stories to amuse her classmates, including an epic novel called “The Beautiful Cassandra” based on a Jane Austen short story of the same name (and  which later inspired her current pen name).
After college, Cassie lived in Los Angeles and New York where she worked at various entertainment magazines and even some rather suspect tabloids where she reported on Brad and Angelina’s world travels and Britney Spears’ wardrobe malfunctions. She started working on her YA novel, City of Bones, in 2004, inspired by the urban landscape of Manhattan, her favourite city. She turned to writing fantasy fiction full time in 2006 and hopes never to have to write about Paris Hilton again. ( Bio)
 booksShe maintains a massively active twitter with her fans. Visit her website and follow her adventures.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Fifth Song from the Play List

    ClipArtSong number five. These lyrics totally speak for themselves. He may not be everyone's favorite like he is to me but no one can dispute his writing ablities. Thanks to those awesome abilites, this will be John’s second contribution to the play list. I told you he was one of my favorites. I think I forgot to mention point of view in the previous songs though so I’ll back track for you a little.  #1 – Neely, #2 - Andrew, #3 – Neely, #4 – Hayden and now #5 – Hayden. Point of view references who’s voice I hear the most in the scenes. Even though the story is told from Neely’s perspective for the most part, there are times such as this one when the other characters get to take a turn being heard.
    My girl is making a huge mess of things at this point but she’s not the only one. The overall stress factor is getting close to one of the highest stress peaks in the story. The difference now is the physical tension has also ratcheted up a few notches too. There were several times during the creation of this story that I needed to ice the backs of my eyeballs when I finished a scene. This was one of those times. At this point in the writing, it was the first time I found myself crying over a scene. I don’t cry easily so you can imagine just how freaked out I was. Most of all, it was scary opening up my mind that much to the work. Unfortunately, that’s writing and a lesson the process teaches you very quickly. If you can’t bleed all over the keyboard and survive you ain’t got no business putting fingers to keys. It was a tough lesson, but in the end, I got it. 
    So without anymore suspense, here’s the fifth song from the play list.
Till Then,
John Mayer…Your Body is a Wonderland.

Monday, January 17, 2011

What's on the Nightstand #5 and #6

 So what's on the nightstand this week? I've got two new ones to introduce but I've also been playing around with my new additions to my collection I got over the holidays too. Lordy, you should see my nightstand now! Not to mention, the clearance rack at Books a Million had several treasures for me after the holidays. I collected three Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake series and a Carolyn Haines SBD series. Major SCORE! Once the books are stacked higher than the lamp I'll photograph them again. ha ha! I only buy books I really enjoy so I've been re-reading a few of them in addition to these two. I'll tell y'all about them later on but here are the most recent books I've read.

Killing Floor #5 Killing Floor by Lee Child
    This is my first experience with Lee’s books and I’m very impressed with his work so far. Killing Floor begins in a small town in Georgia, Margrave to be exact. Jack Reacher, principal character, is an ex-military policeman set adrift after finishing his service to his country. He’s single, answering to no one and nothing anymore, off the grid in every way and enjoying the stash of money that came with retirement. Jack is sharp, intelligent and full of my favorite kind of wit, dry.I enjoyed Lee’s dialog scenes most of all throughout the entire book. This is my first experience with the clipped style of writing that seems to be Lee’s signature. He writes from a very masculine, minimalist point of view. In the beginning, I didn’t know if I as a woman could connect with Jack Reacher. His thought processes were sort of foreign to me at first but once I got into the story everything began to fit perfectly.  
    This story kept me guessing around every corner which is extremely important to me in a book. There’s nothing more disappointing than predictability. Lee has passed the test with Jack’s adventure into the sultry ugliness that always leaves an oil slick of evil behind when money and power are involved.
    Lee’s Reacher books are stand alone even though there are lots of them. But you know me; I’m a stickler for reading in a certain order. Killing Floor is the first in the Reacher series and I’d suggest to newbies that Killing Floor be the one you start with in order to understand some of Jack’s back story before going into his other adventures. Killing Floor was a wonderful read and I’d recommend it for sure. A complete listing of Lee's books can be found on his website.
cover#6 Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman
     I'm a sucker for a beautiful cover, always have been. Ever since Hernando Public Library got this one in I've been arguing with myself about whether I would read it or not. Personally, I like my books with a healthy dose of fantasy. Too much real life without enough funny in a book irritates me. Immersing myself in a book is my form of escapism and frankly I have all the real life I want in my life.So I don't want it in my books thank you very much.
    Reading this book jacket my first thought was no way, uh uh, too much misery for me. But every time I passed by that beautiful cover it teased me, "Come on, you know you want to take me home." It was when I started answering the voice in my head,"cut it out, the cover ain't that dang pretty," that I decided I better go on and give it a try before the librarian called the padded wagon on me.
    Despite the very serious and painful first twelve years of her life, Cee Cee Honeycutt's sense of humor is laugh-out-loud good.She sees things very differently than most girls her age yet at the same time is very much twelve. Add to that a huge dollop of tragedy, a absentee father and a new found southern relative and let the adventures begin.
    I connected with Cee Cee on a personal level in a way I never expected. She begins to collect women as her story unfolds. Aunts, new role models, neighborhood menaces and everything in between since she doesn't have a traditional family anymore.Cee Cee's world is transformed into a colorful menagerie of southern women, each leaving their unique mark on her life. I can see that picture in my own life in lots of ways. I come from a family of tough southern women and there are lots of glimpses I recognize from my own people in these characters.  
     Near the end of the story is the most hilarious paragraph in the book. It's too funny not to share. I have to stifle a laugh even now as I think about it. We've all had that great aunt or grandmother at some point in our lives. She gets to be a certain age and it's like someone removes the normal barriers between the things that pop in her brain and what fly's out her mouth.This scene features that person who has come into Cee Cee's life. Sapphire, aunt to Cee Cee's friend Oletta. They are at a garden party where a tiff breaks out. 

Everyone scrambled to get out of the way-well, everyone but Sapphire, who was enjoying the spectacle immensely. She stayed glued to her chair, cupped her old gnarled hands around her mouth, and hollered, "Get her, Thelma. Whup her ass real good." 

    Do not even try to tell me you didn't just get a mental picture of that woman in your life who would say exactly the same thing and bust out laughing. Mine is a cross between my great-grandmother Bynum and my sister. Well...except in my case, my sister might be the one doing the fighting. 
   I personally don't know how Beth pulled off all the nuances of living in and being southern since she's not but I have to tip my hat to her. She nailed it all. Follow Beth's adventures on her website.
   Photo of Beth Hoffman

Till then,

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Welcome Newbies!!

View DetailsA quick update and welcome to several countries now represented by new blog followers! I'm so pleased you visited and hope you continue to follow. Here's a big Mississippi shout out to Germany, Australia and NEW ZEALAND!!!!! So exciting!!! I have to say I'm a teeny bit partial to New Zealand since it plays a part in the book. Welcome y'all!!
KDView Details

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Interview with Andrew Huckley

*Now we've made it to the juicy parts of these interviews! As second male lead, Andrew Huckley is a big mystery wrapped up nicely in a very luscious package. This interview completes the introductions of the main characters. I hope you all enjoy meeting Andrew for the first time and look forward to getting to know him better. 

View DetailsBOOK CHAT with Caroline Irvine View Details  

    This is the third installment of my interviews with the characters in the new book series by Laurel native KD Wood. After trying to land a sit down with the first two, I was prepared to pour the syrup on thick in order to score a meeting with Ivan Andrew Huckley Jr. Fortunately, none of my persuasiveness was necessary since he agreed to meet with me the first time I called.
    While driving out to the Huckley home I realized it's located in a very upscale part of town. The brick and stone wall surrounding the property complete with huge wrought iron gate is impressive on its own. Pressing the button on the call box, I spoke with a guy who sported a very heavy French accent. The huge gate then swung open and I rolled up to the Huckley estate. Can you say gigantic house surrounded by manicured grounds and even a lake? Well, that's exactly what it was.
    A very tall man welcomed me at the front door then escorted me into a large formal sitting room. I guessed he must have been the same one who let me in the gate since he had a French accent. Taking a seat to wait for Mr. Huckley, I observed my surroundings quickly. The house was expertly decorated but I'd imagine the plush couch and glittering lamps probably cost more than my car. Folding my hands in my lap, I was sort of afraid to sit on the chair it was so fancy.
    I never heard the approach of footsteps, but suddenly there was a young man standing next to me. Ivan Andrew Huckley Jr. greeted me warmly and then took a seat in the matching chair to the right. His sultry accent caught me off guard for second. Being from New Zealand and all I guess I shouldn't have been surprised.
    One of the first things I noticed about him is his smile. It's...well...there's no other word for it. Dazzling. Flawlessly manicured from wavy golden hair to the high gloss on his brown leather shoes, he seemed completely at ease despite me being a stranger. At a guess, I'd say he's six feet tall, which he later confirmed as correct and brown as a biscuit. The color of his skin was unlike anything I'd ever seen before. Warm honey, expensive dark furniture, the woven pieces of a aged wicker basket, fall leaves...none of those colors were exactly right for him. Directing me towards a gigantic oil painting of his mother over the stone fireplace, I immediately saw whom he'd inherited it from. Mrs. Huckley was depicted in a lovely bronze color. Even her waves of golden hair spilling over one shoulder matched Andrew's perfectly. 
    After rummaging around in my bag for a few minutes, I finally found my notepad and recorder so we could get started. 

Q Thank you for meeting with me…uh…do you prefer Ivan or Andrew?
Andrew please and you’re most welcome. I’m honored you wanted to interview me.
Q  I’ve spoken with Neely and Hayden already and they seemed quite positive about their experience. Have you enjoyed being part of the series so far?
A  It’s been a fascinating experience for me.
Q   How so?
A  Well, there’s the issue with secrecy. Which, now that the story is complete and being prepared for release, is actually more difficult than it seemed it would be in the beginning. The powers that be are quite stringent with us about story details. KD especially. I am happy to report they gave me permission to tell you about myself at great length if necessary.
Q.  Don’t worry I got the same stonewalling with Neely and Hayden too.
A. (laughs) I can only imagine, especially from Neely. That girl is quite the tiger.
Q.  Neely and you have a connection I take it?
A.  The story establishes a significant connection for us… but… I can’t elaborate on whether it’s a good or bad thing without giving something away.
Q.  So what about you personally. Where are you going to school and what are your plans?
A.  I’m a senior at West Jones High along with my sister Megan and of course Neely and Hayden. As far as after graduation, my options are still undecided. We may take an extended vacation back to our family home in New Zealand for the summer. Things aren’t really for sure at the moment though. As far as college, I can’t seem to make up my mind.
Q.  What about a position in your father’s company?
A.  It is an option. There’s the executive branch in New York also that my grandfather manages. Really, I just haven’t picked my directions yet. Mother and Father aren’t very pleased with my procrastination. Regardless of what I study, I have several obligations to the family I will have to fulfill at some point. Ah the joys of being eldest son, heir to the empire and all that rubbish. 
Q.  So you have siblings?
A.  Yes, a younger sister Megan and a younger brother Nicholas. Megan is supposed to be in the eleventh grade this year but she skipped up to the ninth with me the year we moved to Laurel. Nicholas is in middle school.
Q. I know your father owns a factory in Laurel but what does your mother do?
A. She opened a formal wear boutique right after we moved here four years ago, La SoirĂ©e, in downtown. (Smiling) I don’t know if you noticed how intrigued my mother is with French culture. With Mother’s background as a former Miss Universe and my sister the current Miss Jones County, it has been quite a successful hobby for her in addition to her attempt to turn this place into her own personal piece of France.
Q. I did notice that everything in your home has that air to it, the butler and all. Miss Universe, wow that’s impressive. But as far as yourself, what do you do for fun? Like, what things are you in to?
A. I enjoy traveling; I have quite an extensive collection of first edition books, lots of CD’s that are mostly alternative rock and my father has a few motorcycles we both tinker with. My mother and I spend quite a good bit of our free time researching our family’s history. Being descended from New Zealand’s indigenous people, my mother and grandmother have made sure my siblings and I understand all the parts of our heritage. We spent lots of time with our tribe before we moved here. Normal things really.
Q. Normal, I don’t know so much about that.
A. Well (laughs) normal to me at least. I have developed a new soft spot for American football since coming here. Soccer is my first love, of course, but going to Mustang ballgames has proven quite fun. I have to admit it’s been a bit of a challenge for me to understand some of the things teenagers enjoy here.
Q. Oh yeah, like what things?
A. Well, for one thing, all forms of relationships here are very different. The kids my age still lean towards looks, popularity, and family influences…all the things one would expect as the new kid. In addition to all that though, there are the complexities of everyone’s hometown connections. Kids who’ve grown up together seem to have an extreme and unbreakable affection for one another. I’ve watched them all very closely over the last four years. They may argue or even fight but they always come back to one another in spite of it all. It’s fascinating to me really. The dynamic is unusual especially in the sense that there’s no way for an outsider to break into those relationships and participate, no way to find your place among what’s already established. There’s not enough money or power to truly gain a place. I can make friends but not in the way they create relationships here. It’s an amazing phenomenon.
Q. It's a good thing I brought my recorder. That's small town life in the south described perfectly and I completely understand. So did you eventually find a niche of your own?
A. In my own way I think I have. The acceptance of a societies set of rules, no matter how foreign, goes a long way in carving out a spot within such a complex group. Most of all, I guess you could say I’ve accepted my assigned role among them and that in itself has given me my place.
Q. I have to say that’s pretty deep for such a young guy. Refreshing though, I’ve never heard it explained that way before. Will we see any of your experience play out in the book?
A. (laughs) Honestly…I’ve gotten so comfortable in our conversation that I nearly answered you. KD would’ve cleaned my clock over that one.
Q. Is there a particular chapter or scene in the book you enjoyed more than the others? 
A. Hmmm...How to answer this one safely? KD is very good with plot twists so I enjoyed that part a lot. The story is never what you expect. Chapter 12 and 16 were fun because of the care that has been put into the dynamics between Neely, Hayden and I. The details and scene descriptions are quite lovely while still being extremely intense. A situation such as ours isn't the easiest thing to breathe life into in some parts but the finished product is truly amazing.

Q. It's been wonderful to visit with you Andrew. Is there anything else you like to tell us about the series?
A. Truly, the story is a wild ride with twists and turns you wouldn't expect around every corner. I know everyone that reads it will become enthralled with the story.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Fourth Song from the Play List

    View DetailsNow we are digging our fingers into the meaty parts of this story. (rubs palms together and grins) This is the fourth song on the play list and it packs a powerful punch in the steam department. I've introduced you all to Neely and Hayden so I hope you've begun to try and figure out just what role their friendship plays in the story.
    I'm all about throwing a curve ball into things so Wednesday you will finally be introduced to the second male lead. Two male leads you say? Oh yeah that's how I roll. It wouldn't be one of my stories and just wouldn't be interesting if there wasn't every type of friction known to man in it. Love, hate, steam, anger, sadness, loss, hope, desire you can bet I've got all those yummy flavors in there.
    Of course times change and artist come and go, but for me, Prince is the ultimate hot and steamy song go-to guy. That voice, those lyrics, always pushing boundaries farther than anyone else...well he's a guy named Prince so what else could you expect.
    We've made it to the first obstacle in the story for Neely with this song. The first three chapters follow a pattern of stress peaks that closely resemble a heartbeat. Oh and yeah, I did it that way on purpose. Poor girl. By the time we reach chapter three, she's hip-deep in alligators and crocodiles while holding a dead chicken in each hand. This song embodies what she's dealing with in just a small portion of one of those peaks of conflict. Teenage hormones, oh there's just nothing more fun to write about! So without anymore temptation, here's the fourth song from the play list.
Till then,

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

What's on the Nightstand? #3 and # 4

    So what's on the nightstand this week? The last couple of days I've been making my way through the second and third of Stacia's books in the Chess Putnam series. I like to read series books in order so it was a practice in willpower to wait for my Christmas money so I could go get the them. 
        Despite my bookworm impatience, our Christmas vacation this year was one of the most laid back and relaxing I've ever experienced. We (the parents, the sister, the nephew and my boys) were all gathered around a cozy pot of mom's veggie soup discussing this point at length on the 26th. Usually Christmas is a couple of rushed days spent running from place to place like a chicken with it's head cut off. Misery, misery, misery and for what? But this year we had place one on The Eve and place two on The Day and that was it. Happy happy joy joy! It was awesome. 
    Sister and I both agreed that The Eve and The Day this year were totally different from quite a few years we'd both endured previously. I guess the one thing that's changed for the sister and her hubs is that they've been married for a while now and are past that newlywed stress. They have settled nicely into parenthood with little BG and are about to dive headfirst into their first home. God love them.
    Personally, this is the best my physical body has felt in so many years I can't remember. My brain is calm, clear and free of too much cortisol. Best of all, I'm sleeping like a normal person again. Those things can go a long way to making life either very good when you're healthy or very bad when you aren't. My boys seemed to have loads of fun on each day of our vacation and that in itself was a gift. My hubs had to go back to Hernando early for work but even that wasn't stressful. It all worked out smoothly. 
    Speaking of things working out smoothly, that isn't something I can say for Chess. Making my way through all three books, I just had to shake my head at how fast Stacia's girl can get herself in a double-dyed hot jam. 
 #3 Unholy Magic
 Unholy Magic indeed Chess. Poor girl, in this installment she has really made a fine mess of her fledgling relationship with Terrible (swoon). There were many moments when I felt my heart race in time with hers. My eyeballs couldn't see the words fast enough in places. It was a chore to make myself read calmly in some parts the suspense is so good. 
Unholy Magic
I found myself rooting for Lex one minute, then scolding myself for being a nub, then wanting to smack Chess upside her head in the next minute for being a big chicken and shoving her potential moments with Terrible right into the pooper. It was up and down so much I was dizzy. LOVED that feeling though. Lots of chilling, thrilling and nail-biting moments in this one. All in all, Stacia did it up right just as I expected and I thoroughly enjoyed the read.

#4 City of Ghosts. Stacia's third book in the Chess Putnam series is a wonderful read, full of suspense and lot and lots of steaminess between Chess and Terrible (wink, me some Terrible!). In the first book I really had to concentrate to get the feel for the Downside's unique language. It threw me for a loop at first, but once it clicked in my head then I couldn't imagine it any other way. It fit the scenes perfectly and by book #3 it was as if it was a normal thing. 
City of Ghosts   I could really feel the internal struggling from Chess in this book. She wants all the same things as other people but there's always that old voice of past pain smacking her back down and telling her that she doesn't deserve anything good. Stacia does a masterful job projecting this to the reader. This kind of pain and where it comes from isn't easy to write about but she nails it.
    If you are into dark urban fantasy, then you definitely need to pick up all three books. Stacia's books have been my first experience with it and Chess's adventures do not disappoint. I'm on pins and needles now as I wait on number four in the series so hurry up with it Stacia!

Stacia KaneI enjoyed a rousing game of trivia via twitter with Stacia over the Christmas holidays. It was pretty dang fun trying to get my answers in before everybody else. She didn't make it easy on us either! Sadly, my fingers nor my blackberry's signal were fast enough to let me win one of the rounds. Never the less, it was great fun!
    Stacia is a southern transplant to Atlanta, GA where she lives with her hubs and children and that makes for double points in my book. She maintains a very active twitter and blog on her personal website where a complete listing of her books can be found.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Third Song from the Play List

View Details  Welcome to week three! Hopefully, everyone rang in the new year with their own personal version of a big smooch from their honey bun and firecrackers. Around here, thankfully 2011 has come in for me and mine with lots and lots of possibilities for amazing things. 
    I don't think I've told y'all this yet but John Mayer is one of my top ten favorite artists. I know I'm risking the wrath of an old school chum (wink, wink, Lee) by telling you all that. It's okay though, I'll be more worried about Lee's reaction after I post the Nickleback song in a few weeks haha! John and several other very talented musicians hold multiple slots on all four of my play lists.
    While trying to tap into those long ago moments of eighteen-year-old-angst and transfer that into my story, listening to this next song epitomized what it felt like to move from teenager to young adult. Everyone can relate to a desire to really be something once they take that first step into the real world, regardless of what stage of it you happen to be in at the moment. Even if at the time, you had no idea what that something might turn out to be. There in lies the beauty of being young and why nature only lets you be that once.
 Room For Squares CoverThis song speaks volumes to exactly what's happening to the characters in the story at this point. Neely is staring wide-eyed into the unknown and she doesn't know exactly what to expect from her future. Right now her life resembles a very frustrating Algebra problem with too many x's and y's left to fill in. Still too many unknowns to get a real answer (that one's for you Mrs. Bustin, I knew that extra year in Algebra II would come in handy one day).
    Even though we're three songs in, technically we aren't past the second chapter yet. Neely's being pulled in several different emotional directions at this point too. Poor kid, she's being flooded with varying degrees of happy, scared, excited and sad all at once. It's enough to short-circuit a girl's heart and brain! Those of us who remember being at that jumping-off point of our life can relate to her excitement and fear only too well. For those of you who aren't there yet, don't worry, you will totally understand what I mean once it happens to you.
    Without anymore to-do, here's the third song.
John Mayer...No Such Thing

Till Then,

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A Big Thank You and Welcome to New Followers

View Details    Happy New Year to one and all!! I hope 2011 has been wonderful for you so far. For most folks I know, I'd say the new year has started off with a bang in a good way. For my cousin David, a fire cracker that landed in his truck and burned it up, not so much of a bang towards the positive. Love you cousin! Hope the rest of 2011 is so good it makes up for it.
View Details    I'd like to give a big shout out and welcome to all the new followers in USA, Canada, Finland, United Kingdom, Denmark, Croatia and Singapore. In addition to that awesomeness, please welcome to the party Israel, China and Slovenia.
    I hope everyone is having as much fun visiting the blog as I am writing it !!
Till then,