Saturday, January 05, 2013

My Facebook Author Page is up!

Hey guess what? I have a new Facebook Author Page! Come check it out.

Friday, January 04, 2013

Book Review: The Time Travelers by Linda Buckly-Archer SPOILERS


The following review contains spoilers…

I am pretty disappointed about this book. The cover really makes this book look exciting and enticing. The blurb on the cover says “For kids who love Harry Potter”. This isn’t true. It should read “For kids who like stories that do an excellent job of describing the 1800’s but lack character resolution or development.”

Linda Buckley-Archer does a fine job of creating characters you care about. I quickly cared for Peter and Kate right off the bat. Gideon also is a likeable, relatable character. The rest of the cast from 1763 didn’t interest me, yet they heavily feature in most of the book. In fact when the cast are captured by bandits I didn’t really care what happened to them and wanted to get back to the modern era to check on the detective.

See, the detective is also a strong character. He tries everything he can to get Kate’s father and his scientist associates to admit they know what happened to the kids. Every time something in the past turns up, some new evidence that gives the detective another clue, he tries to get the truth out of Kate’s dad. But he never does. It’s actually a huge disappointment.

Peter has an estranged relationship with his father that is never resolved or even started on the road to recovery. We see that his father is sorrowful and Kate’s father has answers about Peter’s whereabouts but those answers are never given. And when Peter realizes his own father never came to save him, I’m wishing Kate’s dad would tell Peter of his own father’s passion for Peter’s life. After all, the man did punch Kate’s dad when he discovered he knew something. But Kate’s dad doesn’t even mention that Peter’s parents are worried. No resolution to the original problem set forth in this book, Peter’s relationship with his dad.

Kate is another issue. When we first meet her we discover she has a strong personality to match her long red hair. I like that and wanted to see her shine, even get close to Peter so they could learn from each other. They come from different backgrounds and have different personalities so clearly the author has set things up so they can learn from each other. Yet time and time again she’s left behind in her big dress, a helpless girl. Sure, she does teach Peter how to blur and travel back to their century, but that’s all she does. Peter treats her horribly and this is never resolved while she just serves and yet another damsel in distress whom is mostly absent from the story.

Buckley-Archer does cast an excellent backdrop. She has done her research and it shows. We truly are in 1763. You’d think kids from our time would constantly contrast what’s missing from our time when they are stuck in the past but these kids don’t. Still, the story works well as a textbook to teach kids about that era.

All in all I couldn’t really get t this story. I read the whole thing but I guess it’s just not for me.

Speaking to the Excelsior Academy

A friend a fellow local author, Terron James, author of the Beholder series, invited me to speak to his class. On Wednesday the 2nd I did.

It went great! The kids were excited and curious. I spoke with two whom were aspiring writers. I love doing that. So many have hopes and dreams and only need a little encouragement to create great things.

Several students had another commitment but four kids were able to sit down with me and discuss writing and the Annabelle series. It was a close, relaxed group. We spoke of many things and I hope I answered all their questions.

All in all a nice event and I hope one day to go back. Thanks Terron for the opportunity!

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Bite of Story Thursday

Night Children: Dark Birth

Chapter Twenty : Rescue Mission

A cool mist blew through the woods.  Annabelle stood alone, listening to the strange silence.  The world seemed unearthly.  Nothing made a sound, even the crickets remained quiet.

“Nice night, don’t you think?”

She spun around, looking for the owner of the familiar voice.  She’d heard it before.  Male, old and somehow wise, it sounded strangely comforting.

“My mate, Ethelda, doesn’t like it when I roam.” The voice continued.  “She thinks I should just rest.  I think she worries too much.”

Annabelle turned again but this time she found him.  An old man sat on the ground, leaning against a tree.  Dressed in a clean cloak and a dark shirt and pants, the man simply carved a piece of wood.  As his hands worked the wood she looked into his white eyes.  He gazed at nothing, completely blind.  His chin was covered with light white whiskers. 

The man calmly carved and a smile stole across his face.  With a shock she saw his vampire fangs and wondered why she hadn’t noticed them before.

“Please sir, my friend Henry has been kidnapped.  He needs our help.”

The old man looked straight at her and yet his blank eyes seemed to stare through Annabelle.  “Dear Annabelle, you would go against Eliza’s wishes?  After all she’s done for you?”

She realized with a start where she’d seen this man before.  “You were in my dreams before.  The night I turned into a vampire.”

He gave her a warm smile.  “Yes.  Eliza saved you, didn’t she?  She works so hard, teaching you, training you.  Raising you to grow up and be the great hero you must be.  Cherish the time you have with her.”

“But she wants us to leave Henry to those monsters.  We can’t.”

“I wouldn’t worry about that.  Instead you should remember your training.  And have courage.  Angry dogs are scary, but you can survive them.”

With a knowing grin, the old vampire faded into grey mist. 


For more check out Dark Birth at your local online store. Links to Dark Birth on the web can be found on the Store Page on this blog or you could just go here, Dark Birth on Amazon.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Children's Book Festival

I'll be at the Tooele Children's Book Festival Jan 12th! Come see! So will Tyler Whitesides, Lisa Mangum and Jessica Day George!

I've known this for awhile but kept it under my hat for a bit until it got closer. They are going to have a brunch with the authors and I'll have a chance to speak and sign books too. I'm really excited. This will be my first time at one of these.

Also, today, I'm speaking at the Excelsior Academy which is a local Charter school. I'm excited to meet the kids. I'll keep you posted on how both events go.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Book Two is Finished... again!

Last Friday I finished the principle edits on Night Children: Dark Changes! All those nasty edits brought on by strong advice I did not want to hear but needed to listen to, and those edits made a great deal of difference.

See, I held onto some early story concepts that I stuck with ever since the original first draft. Way back in 2005 when I was writing what would become the first half of book one and most of book two (then one single over large story). After Book One became it's own thing, several thinks remained for the sequel. I really resisted changing some of those things, even though my beta readers proclaimed them "too dark".

Well I needed a long break. A break spent last year focusing on other stories. Once I reached my personal deadline, I returned to Book Two and saw for myself the beta readers where correct. At first I was lost as to what to do but my long-suffering wife pointed out a simple solution. Why didn't I see that in the first place?

I set forth to make the necessary changes and now it's "finished" and sent off to several beta readers. Does this mean it's truly done and I can format it for ebook publication? NO! I don't trust it. It needs these reviews and it might have to go through even more edits.

But at least I've reached a tiny milestone.

Now back to writing the rough draft for Myths...

Happy New Year, Readers Young and Old... a message from Rick Riordan

Here is a link to a wonderful message from my current favorite author, Rick Riordan. He's the author of the Percy Jackson books. Whenever I read one of his books not only am I sucked in and can't get enough, but I feel an overwhelming desire to write. He inspires me.

Now I've struggled with a few writers about who my readership is. I feel the closest to a Middle Grade audience. That's 9-12 but honestly it could go a little higher. Maybe it's because I'm still a kid at heart but I can relate with their fears and I hope my books reach out to them on some level.

Rick Riordan puts it best in his article...

My favorite part is this statement...
"Just because children are the protagonists does not make it a children’s book." I wish people who say all books with kid protagonists HAVE to be Middle Grade would listen to him.

Anyway, I wanted to share this with my followers.

Happy New Year!

Well 2012 is over and with it so many major events both personal and global. We've seen senseless tragedy and incredible opportunity. I don't want to go into it all but I will say that personally I'm ready for 2013. Sure, I don't want more of the bad but life is always a mix.

We can't avoid the further march of time but we can try to spend it treating each other better and trying with all our ability to lift each other up and travel hand in hand through this year's events. Perhaps we'll be responsible for some amazing stuff?

Have a great 2013 everyone!

Who's Who in the Annabelle Universe? Kimon


No picture at this time. Hopefully that will change someday.

Name Origin:
(Κίμων): Greek name, possibly meaning "sleepy."

Physical characteristics:
Every time Annabelle has seen Kimon it's been in her dreams. He appears as an old vampire with long white hair and a beard of scruffy whiskers. Every time she's seen him he's worn different clothing. He is blind.

Kimon is friendly and wise. He has a since of humor and always has a smile.

Known History:
The mysterious older vampire known as Kimon appeared to Annabelle in a dream the night her body transformed into a vampire.  He appeared again in another dream the day before she set out to rescue her brother Roland and their friend Henry. His mate is named Ethelda.

He can dream walk, appearing in others' dreams and controlling his appearance and even shape the dream according to his wishes. Sometimes the dreams show evens or objects from the future. For instance, when he appeared to Annabelle in the early 1700's, his dream was of a Hawaiian Luau and he dressed in a Hawaiian shirt and shorts, centuries before the look came into fashion.

As of this writing his identity and history is unknown. Annabelle learns more about him each time he appears in her dreams.  Every bit of advice has come in handy. Annabelle has begun to look forward to their chats.

Monday, December 31, 2012

Bringing in the New Year with a Books Giveaway!

Check out No Thoughts 2 Small for their "Bringing in the New Year Giveaway" featuring Dark Threats!

That's right! I'm a featured author on the site and we're giving away another copy of Dark Threats!

Come on over!