Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Blog Tour/Book Review: Nightingale, by David Farland

      As a self-published author, I jumped at the chance to participate in a book blog tour for David Farland's new self-published YA novel, Nightingale. He is an inspiration to all in the self-publishing world, having found immense success in traditional publishing and then by choice switching over to self-publishing.  Though I've never read any of his adult science fiction books, I have read and enjoyed a number of his books for children. The premise of this new book sounded fascinating,  and combined with his track record, I figured I couldn't loose by agreeing to read and then review his book as part of this blog tour.
      I must admit, at the beginning of the book I felt his writing was not as stellar as I had expected from an author of his experience. I was disappointed in the "rough edges" as he fleshed out the high school setting for his main character, Bron Jones. Perhaps this roughness I sensed was because Farland's expertise is in fantastical world building, not the chic-lit setting of a present-day high school. But my focus on these minor weak points quickly faded and moved to the story line as the action and intrigue of Bron's past and powers, (which were unknown to him), pulled me in.
      Though the story is set in present day Saint George, Utah, Farland did a superb job of world building. Bron, we learn, is a member of race of people that have co-existed alongside humans since the dawn of time. Farland weaves in the details of this sister race in a natural, believable way, almost to the point of having me look at other people's hands to see if they had the signs of  suction cups on their fingers. I could feel the tension Bron was experiencing as he battled with his heredity and propensity for evil while trying to maintain the compassion he'd learned from living as a human for the first sixteen years of his life
      As the book drew to a close, Farland had me on the edge of my seat. And when I closed my Nook, after reading the last page, I couldn't help but mull over and over what had just happened and the impossible, yet liberating feeling I had for Bron's situation.
      Anytime a book makes me think about it after I close the cover,  I consider it a good read.

The multi-award winning novel, Nightingale by best-selling author, David Farland is available in hardback, ebook, and now in a special iPad enhanced version. This young-adult fantasy novel has already been turning heads.
Grand Prize Winner of the Hollywood Book Festival, placed first in all genres, all categories.

Winner of the 2012 International Book Award for Best Young Adult Novel of the Year!

Finalist in the Global Ebook Awards.

"Superb worldbuilding, strong characters, and Dave's characteristic excellent prose. --Brandon Sanderson, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author

"A wonderful tale of a young man trying to find his humanity, even though he's not quite human. One of Farland's very best!"--#1 International Bestseller Kevin J. Anderson

The enhanced version creates an amazing reading experience complete with illustrations from several talented artists and a sample of a soundtrack that coincides with the story. Published byEast India Press a publishing company that takes e-books in a whole new direction with enhanced multimedia--soundtracks, movie clips, author interviews and more. From the site: "East India embraces emerging technologies and new distribution methods, producing every novel in three forms: as an enhanced multimedia experience, as a standard e-book, and as a limited edition hardcover."
Farland has plans for three more books in the series: Dream Assassin, Draghoul, and Shadow Lord.

About the author:

David Farland has written and edited fifty published books. These include novels for adults, young adults, anthologies, middle-grade readers, and picture books. He often teaches writing workshops, and has trained a number of people who went on to become international bestselling authors—people like Brandon Sanderson in fantasy, Brandon Mull in middle-grade fiction, and Stephenie Meyer in young adult fiction.

As part of his dedication to helping other writers, David writes the David Farland’s Daily Kick in the Pants, an email bulletin for writers or those who would be writers. Many authors rave about how it has helped them. Out of devotion, he provides the Daily Kick free. You can register to receive it at http://www.davidfarland.com/.

You can learn more about Dave and his books/writing seminars here:

Twitter handle @DavidFarland

 Blog Tour Schedule for Nightingale by David Farland 2012

Sept 28- http://www.christydorrity.com/2012/09/nightingale-book-tour.html
Sept 28- http://iamareadernotawriter.blogspot.com/2012/09/book-giveaway-nightingale-by-david.html
Oct 1- http://www.stinalindenblatt.com/2012/10/bringing-scenes-to-life-guest-post.html
Oct 3- Donna Weaver- http://weavingataleortwo.blogspot.com/
Oct 4- http://www.rashelleworkman.com/
  Oct 9 -  http://www.ilikethesebooks.com/ 
Oct 12-http://www.debbiesinkspectations.blogspot.com/
 Oct 16- http://moniquebucheger.blogspot.com/
Oct 17- http://peggyeddleman.blogspot.com/ 
Oct 18- http://www.dorinewhite.blogspot.com/
Oct 19- http://thebookshelfmuse.blogspot.com/

Oct 23- http://www.karen-hoover.blogspot.com/
Oct 24-http://www.tanyaparkermills.com/
Oct 25- http://davidpowersking.blogspot.com/  
 Oct 26- http://rachellewrites.blogspot.com/
Oct 29- http://writersally.blogspot.com/

Oct 30-  www.franklycreative.blogspot.com
Nov 2- http://1000wrongs.blogspot.com/
Nov 5- http://www.ja-bennett.com/
Nov 5- http://astorybookworld.blogspot.com/
Nov 6- http://gettingyourreadonaimeebrown.blogspot.com/
Nov 7- http://starcrossedbookreviews.blogspot.com/
Nov 14- http://elanajohnson.blogspot.com/

Nov 16-  http://whynotbecauseisaidso.blogspot.com/
Nov 16- http://www.ldswomensbookreview.com/wordpress/
Nov 19- http://christinebryant.blogspot.com/
Nov 20- http://cindybennett.blogspot.com/ 
Nov 21- http://writersally.blogspot.com/

Nov 26- http://cindymhogan.blogspot.com/ 
Nov 27-http://www.alicross.com/
Nov 28-http://lisaisabookworm.blogspot.com/
Nov 29- http://fireandicephoto.blogspot.com/
Nov 30- www.blogginboutbooks.com
Dec 3- http://rebeccablevinswrites.blogspot.com/ 
Dec 7- http://kbrebes.blogspot.com/  
Dec 14 - author@jlloydmorgan.com

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Book give away: Promises

It's about time for another contest on my blog. This time I'm going to give away a copy of my own book, Promises. This is my first novel, but certainly not my last. It's receive very positive reviews and it's a fun read for kids and adults alike.

A quick blurb about the book:

Hattie is barely twelve when her pa’s “business adventures” disrupt her family and move them to the new town of Tropic, nestled in the shadows of old Ebenezer Bryce’s Canyon. Her pa views the town as opportunity. Hattie is hopelessly shy and views it with apprehension; she dreads the task of making new friends. More than anything else, Hattie wants to be like her father—not afraid of meeting new people, talking to strangers, and standing up for herself. So it is with trepidation that she accepts her pa’s challenge and promises to make new friends.
Hattie forms more promises as she struggles to make friends, finding companionship in places she wouldn’t have expected and learning that there is a difference between complaining and standing up for oneself.
            Promises is a heartwarming story of friendship with a touch of mystery and adventure set in the days before Bryce Canyon became a national park. Drawn from the memoirs of early Utah settlers, it is a realistic glimpse into the past and a delightful story for readers ages eight to eighty.

Best places to purchase the book:

Easy Easy contest instructions:
1. Become a follower of my blog.
2. Leave a comment to this post

The contest runs through November 10. I will then randomly select one winner for every five comments entered. So you have a one in five chance to win. Make sure you leave me an e-mail address so that I can contact you if you are the winner.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

What do Dead Pheasants have to do with NaNoWriMo?

My husband killed Ralph last Thursday. Backed right over him with the truck. Didn't even see him. Both of us felt terrible, even if Ralph was just our resident male pheasant of the adjacent field. As my husband scooped him off the driveway with a shovel, I consoled myself by thinking at least it wasn't my grandson.

One good thing did come from that traumatic moment: I vowed to always slow down and check things out before I take off in my car.

The following evening I realized I should have used that advice with my tongue. I attended my missionary reunion. (It's been over 30 years since the last one). We each had two minutes to fill everyone in on what had happened in our lives in the past 30 years. If we went over the allotted two minutes, the moderator would ring a cow bell. When it came to my turn, I jumped up, excited to tell about my post-missionary puppet endeavors. (I thought everyone would be interested in hearing about my puppet business since I had started making puppets and using them on my mission.). I put my mouth into gear without forethought. It rambled aimlessly about my puppets, never getting to other aspects of my life that would have made my  story more complete, and satisfying. The cowbell rang. As I sat down, someone yelled out, "Hey, do you have a family?" Not only did I feel a bit foolish, I felt let down that I had told an incomplete story.

Over the weekend, as I mulled over this embarrassing experience, my thoughts drifted to my upcoming participation in NaNoWriMo. (For those of you who don't know, NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, is a challenge to write a complete novel, 50K words, in the month of November). Like most people, I was ready to take off on November first, without much forethought, and ramble-off 50K words onto my computer screen. But what would that get me? The glory of completing NaNoWriMo, and a dead, incomplete story. Of course, you always have major editing to do with a NaNo manuscript, but I thought why not minimize the re-writing pain? If I were to slow down now, and put some forethought into my novel, highlighting all the important points I want to make, when I take off, my ramblings on the keyboards will have more direction.

Thanks, Ralph, for giving your life that I might prepare myself better to write my next novel.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Book Review: Protected, by Cindy Hogan

Over the weekend I had some spare time and treated my self to a book. I chose Protected, by Cindy Hogan. She released this book last March on the same day as I released my first book, Promises. (We had our launch party together and she was so helpful, as I was a bumbling newbie). What I can't believe is that I had waited this long to get around to reading her book. I had enjoyed her first book, Watched, and I was rewarded equally, if not more, as I read Protected.

In Cindy's first book, Watched, the MC, Christy witnesses the murder of a government official by terrorists while on a school field trip in Washington DC. In Protected, Christy enters the Witness Protection Program and undergoes the transformation from her unpopular nerdy-bookworm image into Michele, a character that is the complete antithesis. Cindy did a brilliant job of showing Christy make this transition, not just on the outside, but on the inside. I loved how she still kept Christy human, botching up her new cover and having to receive another image, Ari, this time as opposite as possible from Michele, and her original nerdy self. Having Christy slip into a second disguise was fun and kept me reading.

With evil terrorists always on Christy's heels, the tension was high, and kept me turning the pages and mad at myself for having to turn off my Nook and go to sleep when I couldn't focus on the page anymore.
Protected is a fun, clean, entertaining read for teens (and old ladies like me). I would highly recommend it. I'm just glad that I don't have to wait a long time for the sequel. It is scheduled for release later this month. Keep visiting this blog and watch for a review of the next book in the series. I will be part of a book blog tour of her new book, Created. I will also be giving away a copy of her first book in the series, Watched. Stay tuned.