Friday, May 30, 2008

Review:Rumors by Anna Godbersen

Review of Rumors:A Luxe Novel by Anna Godbersen.

Synopsis

After bidding good-bye to New York's brightest star, Elizabeth Holland, rumors continue to fly about her untimely demise.

All eyes are on those closest to the dearly departed: her mischievous sister, Diana, now the family's only hope for redemption; New York's most notorious cad, Henry Schoon-maker, the flame Elizabeth never extinguished; the seductive Penelope Hayes, poised to claim all that her best friend left behind—including Henry; even Elizabeth's scheming former maid, Lina Broud, who discovers that while money matters and breeding counts, gossip is the new currency.

As old friends become rivals, Manhattan's most dazzling socialites find their futures threatened by whispers from the past. In this delicious sequel to The Luxe, nothing is more dangerous than a scandal . . . or more precious than a secret.


I am very excited to present this review to you in advance of the books release. No I was not lucky enough to get an ARC for this( I don't even know if they where printed) I was just lucky enough to be at a Waldensbooks that had it out already.

I need to make something clear-I WILL NOT post plot points or spoilers to this. Trust me, Iknow you want to know what happens as much as the next person but it would be wrong of me to post spoilers to this. Yeah I know if it was a book I wanted to know what happened I would be like "Your being selfish" but I'm not- I won't compromise what I feel is right because you are " dying to know is Henry and Diana end up together" You WILL survive till June 3rd- it's only a few more days.

Now onto the review:

I loved(!) The Luxe but I kinda got mad at the book. Things don't play out like you want them to. Rumors gives that same painstaking feeling when you finish it. I cried-I'll admit it. I can't say much because I will not post spoilers but I will say this

You will probably read Rumors and being angry. You will have wished things have played out a differently. But don't go send Anna Godbersen hate mail, don't say you will never read another Luxe book in your life. Keep in mind that it's MEANT to happen this way and that's how it is. Really, don't miss out on the rest of the series because you didn't like how this book played out.
Would Titanic of been the same if Jack hadn't died? Would Star Wars have been Star Wars if Darth Vader wasn't evil? Would Harry Potter be the same without Sirius dying? It's a story and this is how it played out.

Anna Godbersen once again astonished me. She is a wonderful writer-one of my favorite new Young Adult authors I have found. I can't wait to read the next Luxe book- Guess what? It's title is printed in the back of Rumors.

In Conclusion: A wonderful installment that is shaping up to be one of the best series in the past few years. I loved the book and hope you do too. Now of course, don't expect an advanced review for the next book(No I will not tell you the name of it) I just happened to get lucky this time everyone and I don't expect my Luxe luck to continue. BUT I will review it as soon as it's released(I don't think there is a date yet though so it's probably a while)

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Interview:Regina Scott(Author of La Petite Four)

I recently did an interview with Regina Scott, author of La Petite Four-you can see my review and of course my layout devoted to the site.

Interview:

Why did you decide you would like to write a young adult book?
My brilliant agent actually suggested it. I'd read an article on how every author has a core story that shows up whatever she writes. My core story--discovering who you are and how you fit in the world--works well with romance and fantasy, two areas that I love, but my agent suggested that my writer's voice would work even better in young adult literature. I read everything I could, and I realized she was right. I love YA!
When did you become so interested in the "regency" era?
When I was a YA! I was a voracious reader growing up, but right around the end of high school I was having a hard time finding books I really loved. My mother had checked out Elizabeth Mansfield's The Phantom Lover from the library, and I picked it up. I couldn't put it down! The publishing industry calls that kind of book a traditional Regency romance. I loved the language, the witty dialogue between heroine and hero, the elegant society, and the gorgeous gowns. It was another of those "I have to write this" moments.
Where did the inspiration for La Petite Four come from?
My junior year of high school, my family moved to a different city. I was pretty shy in those days so it wasn't easy to make new friends. But an incredibly creative girl named Nancy and I bonded because we both had a major crush on the same actor. Nancy was an amazing artist and a wonderful storyteller. Long after high school, we still made up stories for fun, with each other as the heroines. One of those stories featured Nancy as an art teacher at an exclusive girls school during the Regency era. Nancy's four favorite students were four friends named Lady Emily Southwell, Priscilla Tate, and Daphne and Ariadne Courdebas. The story went on to be published as a (you probably guessed it) traditional Regency romance titled A Dangerous Dalliance. Readers really liked it and wrote me letters asking if I'd write about the four girls as well. So, when I turned to YA, I knew which story I wanted to write first.
Which of the girls do relate to most?
I think there's a little of me in each of them. I definitely look more like Lady Emily, with dark hair that's frizzier in the rain and angular features, but I couldn't paint like she does. I love pretty clothes like Priscilla, but I could only wish wish for her incredible presence. Like Ariadne, I adore books, and I'm still a bit shy, but I don't have her courage to make my own rules. Like Daphne, I enjoy a round of fencing--there's something about hacking and slashing, even with a boffer sword!--but don't get me near a horse! They're beautiful, but I could never ride like she does.
Did anyone in your life inspire a character?
As I mentioned, Lady Emily's beloved art instructor was inspired by my dear friend Nancy Robak. Sadly, she passed away last year, far too young, from cancer, before I got the call that La Petite Four had been accepted for publication. I miss her a lot, but I know she would be thrilled to see her girls get their own story.
When did you decide you wanted to be a writer?
About third grade, when I realized that all these wonderful books I was reading were written by someone. I wanted to be that someone. I wanted to write the stories in my head, the ones I told myself as I fell asleep at night.
I know some authors "miss" their characters once they are done writing about them. Will you miss any characters from La Petite Four?
Lady Emily, for sure! She is by far the most real character I ever wrote. Very early in the planning process for La Petite Four I started hearing her voice in my head. Here's the first thing she said to me:
"I despise pink. Truly, was there ever a more insipid color? It neither whispers the purity of white nor makes the bold declaration of red. Yet I am convinced that my father would be the happiest of men if I were to wear nothing but that color. Pink, he thinks, is singularly feminine. It is simply not me." And yes, I find it amusing that the cover artist at Penguin decided to go with a singularly pink cover on the book!
Do you have any upcoming projects you're working on?
I'm always writing. I'm finishing a proposal for my first contemporary YA and working on a YA fantasy based on a Native American myth. I'm hoping for a sequel to La Petite Four, telling Priscilla's story, but no word yet on whether that's a go.
and. The Vita Dei/Trainspotting Reads Question-every-author-gets-asked.......What's your stance on Vampires?
I love the ones done with humor like Braced2Bite by Serena Robar. I can't read the dark and scary ones--I get nightmares! If you want a really good Regency-set one, try The Vampire Viscount by Karen Harbaugh. It was originally published in 1995 but I hear they reissued it in 2004. You can find used copies online. Great book!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Review: The Humming of Numbers by Joni Sensel

Review of The Humming of Numbers by Joni Sensel

Publisher's Summary:
Aidan is poised to take his monastic vows—until a girl enters the abbey, one who hums of the number eleven. Aidan has the ability to hear the humming of numbers, a buzzing energy given off by living things. He is captivated and tormented by the mysterious girl, Lana, who has some unusual abilities of her own. How can he become a monk when his mind is filled with impure thoughts?
Before he can begin to sort his feelings out, the Vikings raid. Only Aidan and Lana can save the village from certain, violent death—and only if they learn to trust in their mysterious talents.


Set in Tenth Century Ireland, this book follows Aidan and Lana. Aiden can here each person's number or hum. Lana is very special-she hums of an eleven-a number Aiden has never heard from a human before.

The Humming of Numbers is a pleasant read. A very nice historical novel with nice plot twist and a perfect ending to match. It is well written, with a sense of historical accuracy and modern day problems. The main characters are interesting and they drive the plot.

In Conclusion: The book deals with many themes including religion, magic, love and doing what's right. It had darker moments but also has it's happy, uplifting ones. Historical fans will devour this.

The Humming of Numbers is due out tommorow, May 27

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Contest: Signed Personalized Copies of Quondam by Jayel Gibson

As you all know, my favorite book so far this year has been Quondam by Jayel Gibson. I's a wonderful, epic story about adventure, romance and magic(k). For more information about it check out www.jayelgibson.com. You can also check out my review and interview here as well.

I am very excited to announce that I will be holding a contest for 5, yes five, copies of Quondam-signed and personalized(That means written out to your name). Winners will also receive a bookmark. All you have to do is leave me a comment on this page. If you do not have a Blogspot account and are going to use the anonymous button-please leave me an email address to get in contact with you if you win. You can also just email me at trainspotting0@gmail.com . If you mention and link to this contest on your blog, you will get 1 extra entry. On June 15, the contest will close and I will use the random # generator to pick 5 lucky winners. I will then give the winners 10 days to respond to me. This is a really wonderful book, so go ahead and enter-you will thank me later :)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Interview:Jayel Gibson(Author of The Ancient Mirrors Series)

As you all my know, My favorite book this year so far is Quondam by Jayel Gibson. It's a wonderful tale of adventure and romance and magic(k) and *rambling continues* and PURE AWESOME!-so go buy yourself a copy. Or if you are not convinced yet, read this interview with Jayel Gibson and my review of Quondam.

Trainspotting Reads: When did you decide you wanted to be a writer?

Jayel: I believe that writing chooses the writer, rather than the other way around. For me, there was never any deliberate decision to be a writer. I have always been a writer, keeping journals, writing short bits for friends’ role play character profiles, and stories for game websites. The first story of the Ancient Mirrors series began as a short introductory story for a friend’s website. About 90 pages in, I realize it was a ‘book’ – and Dragon Queen was born. It would be impossible for me not to write, even if no one ever read my work. It’s as much a part of me as breathing.

TR: Where do you derive your influences from?

Jayel: I was a very lucky little girl. My grandmother was a storyteller with a firm belief in the faery faith. So, I was raised on Celt Irish folklore. All of my work has a touch of Celtic magick rooted in its foundation. I also discover characters wandering our woods, drifting in the fog, or eating breakfast in a local café. I have copious character journals, filled with all sorts of likely suspects for future tales.

TR: Do you have a favorite place to write?

Jayel: *chuckling* I have three. One is my office. It overlooks the woods and the sea, and its walls are covered in character portraits, maps and setting images. Another is my local book store, Gold Beach Books. I spend two or three mornings a week there, surrounded by the great masters of fantasy and science fiction. Just being there is inspirational. Then, there is my local library. You’ll find be there among the stacks that hold books on the mythos, magick, medieval history and ancient religions several times a month.

TR: Do you have a favorite character?

Jayel: My favorite character in the Ancient Mirrors Tales series is Cwen of Aaradan. I have watched her grow from an embittered, alienated daughter incapable of love, to selfless savior and loyal friend. She delights and amazes me. It’s been a pleasure to know her.

TR: The art for the Ancient Mirrors series is very vivid, Did you describe in great detail to the artist?

Jayel: I’ve been fortunate to have two extremely intuitive artists, Michele-lee Phelan (Ancient Mirrors series art) and Mates Laurentiu (Ever’neath series art). I do provide detailed descriptions and together, the artist and I select professional models for each character portrait. It’s really cool to have someone see Cwen’s portrait at a book signing and say, “That’s just how I pictured her when I read the book.” The character portraits are one of the most popular ‘giveaways’ on my websites.


TR: Are you a big fan of happy endings? Bitter-Sweet?(My Favorite) or just plain out tear jerkers?

Jayel: Who can resist a happy ending? They leave us feeling all warm and fuzzy. I enjoy a ‘happily ever after’ occasionally, provided the characters have struggled to earn it. Stories with bittersweet endings tend to linger with me far longer than those with ‘Disney’ endings. And, I am much more likely to reread the bittersweet tales.

I’ve never been one for tear jerkers, unless they were non-fiction. I read for research and entertainment. Real life history often ends tragically, and leaves me teary eyed. For entertainment, I lean toward the fantastic adventure, where characters must overcome tremendous odds and deal with personal demons – as well as the real ones – to find happiness.

TR: Was it hard to say "good bye" to the Ancient Mirrors Series?

Jayel: Speaking of bittersweet - it’s been a divided torment. On one hand, I’ve been paling around with the AM characters for almost five years. They’re old friends, comfortable and well known. On the flipside, I’ve had the characters of six upcoming Ever’neath novels screaming to be written, and I am enjoying the new world experiences as I develop a kinship with the Ever’neath characters.

TR: If Quondam was being made into a film, who would you cast in each role?

Jayel: Ahhhh, I’ve been asked this one a lot lately. I do know that if I were casting Yavie the Dragon Queen, I would choose Angelina Jolie. She has the same presence and natural physical strength, and the timeless beauty and maturity that I see in Yavie. Beyond that, I don’t know; so I guess I would have to defer to the professionals for casting. *laughing* Let’s face it, if a studio offered to make Quondam into a film I would be thrilled, and more than happy to let them have the creative limelight.

TR: Can you tell us about any upcoming projects you are doing?

Jayel: I’ve just completed the first book of the Ever’neath series, and am currently at work on the second. The new stories take place in the sky cities of the Empyrean Sidhe (pronounced ‘shee’) and the world below called Ever’neath. The common thread throughout the series is the search for the Haelo-Qua (HALO kwa) – a being capable of voicing the images in the fabled Book of Silence, a great treasure believed to grant limitless power to those who possess it, and can control its singer.

The story is great fun to write. I hope it will be as much fun to read. As with the Ancient Mirrors series, maps, and a glossary with phonetic spellings for those who want to know how I pronounce it, will be in every book.


TR: If you could say one thing to your fans, what would it be?

Jayel: Thank you. It is you, the readers, who truly give the work life. Every time a book is read, it’s resurrected, given new meaning with each reader’s discovery. The best part of writing is meeting my readers, whether it’s an email through the Ancient Mirrors website, a comment on a blog, or in person at a book event. I cherish every contact. My favorite part of the morning is answering fan mail. So please, don’t ever stop chatting me up.


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Review: Undone by Brooke Taylor

Review of Undone by Brooke Taylor

I didn't want to attempt and butcher a summary so here's one for you:

When Kori Kitlzer, the “dark angel” of the 8th grade, tells Serena Moore that they are more alike than she thinks, Serena is instantly intrigued. As their friendship solidifies and their lives entwine, Serena tries to become more like the fearless, outspoken, and ambitious Kori. Soon Serena doesn't know where she begins and Kori ends. But when a twist of fate yanks Kori away from Serena, she will need to find a way to complete her best friend's life left undone.


In my opinion, there was one thing that stood out to me about this book.....

not the characters

not the writing

not the details

It was how real it felt. Usually when I saw a book felt read to me that means that I can see the events in the book happening in real life, comparing circumstance. This book however deals with many things like drugs, teen pregnancy, ect, being a teen myself I can vouch for all of those and more. Ms. Taylor was able to really capture how it is to be a teen.

In Conclusion:Not usually the type of book I go for but, it was good. I reccomend it to teens who want a good read about real-life today. Oh, by the way, DO NOT let parents who believe all teens are evil*cough* my parents*cough* read this book. The over-protective ones may not let you near your friends for a week :)

I usually don't post about what I'm reading next but I just got today The Humming of Numbers by Joni Sensel and I am really excited about reading it. I don't care if it comes out next week and my review won't really be that advanced, I can't wait to read it. So look out for that :)

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Review:La Petite Four by Regina Scott

Review of La Petite Four by Regina Scott

La Petite Four surround 4 friends, Emily, Priscilla, Ariadne and Daphne. The book follows Emily, an aspiring artist. She is engaged to be married to Lord Robert. When he informs her she cannot attend the coming out ball she is determined to discover his secret and expose him for what he really is.

I really liked this book. Too often in Teen Fiction this era is skipped over, so I loved to see it. . There is plenty of drama, romance and even adventure in La Petite Four. The 4 friends are quite real. They interact like real friends and each have their own unique personalities. They remind me of my own friends in a way.

This is Ms. Scott's first Young Adult novel, but you would never guess it. Usually, authors turned young adult authors first outing isn't as amazing as you'd imagine. Very often I find authors writing "down" towards teens. Ms. Scott did not have this problem. Her writing was very descriptive and visual.

In Conclusion, A great book for all-historical buffs, romance lovers and adventure/mystery seekers. The characters are great, the storyline is great and the writing is great. I look forward to reading more Teen/Young Adult books from Ms. Scott in the future.


Look out for my interview with Regina Scott soon!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Review:Star Wars:Legacy of the Force: Invincible by Troy Denning

Review of Star Wars:Legacy of the Force: Invincible by Troy Denning

Spoiler Alert! Those who don't wish to be spoiled, don't continue!


For those who do not know me well. I have always been a Star Wars nerd. I actually read all the books that come out but I have never bothered to review them, it's just not something I review. Star Wars novels are some of the few novels that I actually go out and buy to read. I make time for these books. And this book is the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows of Star Wars books, or at least this series

I won't give a detailed back story because A) you know it and don't need to hear it or B) you don't know it and don't care.

But us Star Wars fans have been forced to say goodbye to yet another character.

I honestly didn't take this one has hard as Mara Jade. I guess I was just shocked that it actually ended this way, with Mara I think we all saw it coming.

BIG SPOILERS! DON"T BLAME ME IT YOU KEEP READING

Jacen is redeemed in the end, which ever way you wish to look at it. Darth Caedus becomes Jacen in his last moments on Earth. Do I dislike/despise Jaina for doing it? YES! Can you blame her? no.......

He gave up, he accepted his fate and did all that he could. I liked Jaina's point of perhaps he did succeed at uniting the galaxy. Yes, he succeeded in saving the galaxy and he sacrificed his family, his name, his reputation and his life for it-but he did it. He ended the war and saved his daughter. He also, I believe, is the first Sith Lord to redeem themselves. Jacen did not need any sort of big ending. He actual faced his enemy in the eyes and deactivates his lightsaber. That my friends-is just as heroic as Darth Vader saving Luke Skywalker are the Second Death Star. Yes, he killed many and I'm not forgetting that. But against what anyone says, I do believe Jacen died heroically and on "the good" side. I really wish we would get to see more Force Ghost in Star Wars canon-I think Del Ray forgot about them-so maybe possibly some day we sill see Jacen that way.

R.I.P. Jacen Solo-joining the list of characters that Del Ray has killed off.....*cough*chewbacca*cough*mara*cough*anakinsolo*cough*cough*

May you live on in fanfiction always.............

Review:Ninth Grade Slays by Heather Brewer

REview of Ninth Grade Slays by Heather Brewer:

Vladimir Tod recently realized being a teenage vampire isn't easy. In the 2nd book of The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod, we follow Vlad through many hardship including girls, morals and of course evil vampires.I really liked this book. This series is shaping up to be great. There is a lot of relationships and caring going around, which many vampire stories lack. Vlad's uncle Otis cares deeply for Vlad.

My favorite scene in the whole book is when Otis admits to Vlad that he did not support Tomas(Vlad's father)'s decision of falling in love, and having a child with a human. The characters feel real and act real. They make mistakes but that have a motive. They say things the way real people do, not with fancy wording and big words no one uses in conversation.

Once again. Ms. Brewer's writing was as wonderful as ever.She is very talented and as I said, is able to capture the essence of being a teenaged out-cast. I very much enjoy her writing.Also

Once again, Vlad is a character you are meant to sympathize with. In the end you will start to empathize with him and honestly feel how hard it is to be him.

In conclusion, I once said this series had the possibilty of becoming one of the best vampire series out there. Ninth Grade Slay's does not disappoint nor disprove in anyway this statement

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Review:Guinevere's Gift by Nancy McKenzie

Review of Guinevere's Gift by Nancy McKenzie

Gwen is a young girl who is sent to live in her cousin's kingdom after her father becomes ill. She loves horses. At her birth it was said she would be the highest lady in the land. This book follows Gwen on her adventures as a young girl. Gwen of couse grows up to be Guinevere, wife of King Arthur and lover of Sir Lancelot of the Lake.

This book has a wonderful mixture of teen-ness and arthurian legend. Too often historyical fiction for teens is too dumbed down or tries too hard to make the teen relate to the story. These books usually loose the historical feel to them. This book balanced history and young adult wonderfully.

Ms. McKenzie is a very good writer(I really want to read Prince of Dreams by her) Her writing is very detailed and has good imagery.

The characters in this book where very vivid. They each felt real and had each their own and unique personalities.

I enjoyed the book and eagerly await the next book in the Chrysalis Queen Quartet

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Review:Hallowmere: In the Serpent's Coils by Tiffany Trent

Review of In the Serpent's Coils by Tiffany Trent

Corrine's parents both died in the Civil War. Now during the Reconstruction, Corrine somehow finds herself sent to Falston Manor-a girl's school. She also begins dreaming disturbing things. Before Corrine even realizes it she is caught up in a supernatural mystery-one that could take her friends.....and her own.....life.

I REALLY liked this book. I hadn't heard about them until a publicist at Mirrorstone pointed them out to me.As all of my faithful readers know, I am a real big fan of historical fiction. I am also a big fan of fantasy's and mysteries. So this book was like a marriage of all 3 subjects.Ms. Trent is a wonderful writer-very vivid-but not to the point where you forget what a character was doing. Being a history Buff-I found the book to be very accurate but without loosing the feel of a mystic.

In Conclusion: A wonderful read for anyone-there's a little bit of everything in it and it has a wonderful cliff-hanger. I don't know if I will be reviewing the next 3 books of the series(and the ones succeeding those 3) but......I would LOVE to. This is a wonderful book and I encourage everyone to go and pick a copy up.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Review:Sucks to be Me by Kimberly Pauley

Review of Sucks to be me by Kimberly Pauley

Mina( yes, she IS named after the Dracula character) is a normal teenage girl- albite her vampire parents and the fact that she now must choose whether or not she wants to join them in undead-ville. In this book you follow Mina as she has some ups and downs-some vamp related-some not.I liked this book. It was a nice, quick easy read. The characters where funny. The storyline was interesting. The pop-culture references where awesome( I am a sucker for pop-culture references) The book's main theme is Mina is unsure whether or not to become a vampire. She deals with not being able to tell her best friend, ect.

The most interesting parts of the book-are actually the human parts. Like Mina likes this guy Nathan, but Nathan likes her best friend, Serena and Serena likes Nathan. Mina also tries to set up a fellow potential vampire,George, with Serena-but he likes Mina-not Serena

All in all, a good read. Think Vampire Kisses meets House of Night and you get Sucks to be Me. I believe Ms. Pauley will be writing a sequel-which I think will get interesting-I won't give much away but the ending does leave room for other stories w/ Mina in them.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Upcoming Reviews

Here's a list of books I am hoping to review within the next few months. They are in no order and some may be cut, some i might never get to, some you may see like this week.


Sucks to be Me-Kimberly Pauley
Star Wars:Legacy of the Force:Invincible-Troy Denning
Madapple-Christina Meldrum
Vamps-Nancy A Collins
The Host-Stephenie Meyer
Breaking Dawn-Stephenie Meyer
Rumors- Anna Godbersen
The Hallowmere Series-Tiffany Trent
Guinevere's Gift- Nancy McKenzie
The Explosionist by Jenny Davidson
Feast of Fools-Rachel Caine
Ninth Grade Slays- Heather Brewer
Bewitching Season-Marissa Doyle

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Interview:M.P Barker(author of A Difficult Boy)

Here's the interview I recently conducted with M.P Barker-writer of A Difficult Boy. Enjoy!

1)What made you interested in history when you where younger?

When I was a kid, we used to watch lots of old (I mean REALLY old—like 1930s) movies on TV, and I always loved the costume dramas with Errol Flynn and Ronald Coleman and Laurence Olivier and all that. Of course, the history was totally inaccurate, but I loved the sense of adventure and the fantasy of living in a different time (without having to actually DO it, that is!)

Then when I began to study history seriously, I ended up getting more fascinated with all the every-day details of ordinary people’s lives than with the big “important” events and famous people.

2) Where did you get the idea for A Difficult Boy ?

I’m an archivist at a local history museum, which means I catalog all sorts of old documents and photographs for researchers to use. I came across a bill from the 1770s that a man sent to the mother of an indentured boy who had run away. The bill charged the woman for the cost of catching the boy and the value of the lost work while the boy was missing. So I started wondering why the boy might have wanted to run away, what the master was like, and so on. I used to work at Old Sturbridge Village, which is a living history museum about New England in the 1830s. Since I knew more about the 1830s than the 1770s, and indentured servitude was still around then, I moved the story into the 1830s. The boy became Ethan and the master became Mr. Lyman.

3) Did anyone in your life inspire Ethan, Daniel, Silas, Mr. Lyman?

That’s a hard question to answer. I can’t think of any one person that I deliberately used as a model for my characters, although Mr. Stocking, the peddler in the story, did turn out to resemble a couple of folks I knew. I didn’t realize that until after I’d finished writing about him and a friend said, “Hey, he’s just like so-and-so!” Then a second friend said he was just like somebody entirely different, so I suppose he's really a combination of those two people with some invented stuff mixed in. So I guess the answer is that the characters probably do contain elements of people I knew, but I didn’t do it on purpose!

4) Are you more like Ethan or Daniel?

That’s a really good question. I think that I’m more like Ethan in some ways—although not as naïve. I like to try to make the best of things and get along with people. I hope that I’m as loyal to my friends as Ethan is to Daniel. I try to have some of Ethan’s idealism and optimism, although sometimes I feel as cynical as Daniel does. But I’m not nearly as brave as either one of them!

5) What kind of research did you do while writing A Difficult Boy?

Some things I’d learned by doing them at Old Sturbridge Village, like how to milk a cow and how to do many of the chores the boys did. While I worked there, I also learned what the clothes and buildings would have been like, what they would have eaten, or what sort of attitudes people might have had. But there were things I didn’t know or couldn’t remember, like some of the legal ins and outs of indentured servitude and laws relating to debts. I had to research those issues by reading Massachusetts state laws and publications from the 1830s that told businessmen how to set up their accounts or what forms to use when paying off a mortgage (not terribly exciting, I’m afraid). I also read old newspapers from the 1830s to get an idea of what sorts of jokes people told and what their everyday concerns were and what sort of events were taking place that might influence my characters’ lives. I did a lot of reading about why Irish Catholics came to America during the 1820s and 1830s. I also asked several of my former co-workers from Old Sturbridge Village to double-check the story and make sure I got all the information right.

6) Can you give us an update on any future projects you are doing (what they are about, when they are being released)

I’m working on a sequel to A Difficult Boy that involves Daniel and the peddler, Mr. Stocking. They’re going to travel together and join up with a circus that has six “dancing ponies” that Daniel will have to learn how to train. They’ll also get involved with some Irish railroad workers and a child custody case, which is about all I can tell you without giving the story away. I’m about half-way through writing it, and need to do a lot of research to get it finished. So I still have to get it done before I’ll know when it will be released!

I’m also working on a book about a sea captain’s wife and daughter and how they cope with life after he’s lost at sea. I haven’t done much with that project yet, since I’m trying to concentrate on the Daniel book.

7)What made you want to be a writer?

I’ve always loved books. When I was a kid, I dreamed of being a novelist and wrote some very bad short stories. I had some ideas for books, but I never could come up with endings for anything. Anyway, when I was in high school I decided that it was terribly unrealistic to want to be a novelist, so I put that idea on the shelf (although I’ve always done all sorts of work-related writing—reports and papers and such). Anyway, after I’d been working for many years, I started trying to write stories again, just for fun. I never really thought I could do a whole book until Ethan and Daniel’s story came along. Part of it was just wanting to see if I could do it, and part of it was wanting to find out how their story would end. And a really HUGE part was two friends who challenged me to write five pages a week until I got it finished.

8) What was your favorite part of a Difficult Boy to write?

The scenes with Ivy, the horse that Daniel takes care of. I’ve always wanted a horse, and writing the story allowed me to create the horse I could never own. I did take riding lessons for a while, and I used a lot of those memories to write about Daniel and Ethan riding Ivy.

9)I know some authors "miss" characters when they are done writing about them. Are you going to miss any particular character?

If I weren’t working on a sequel, I would miss Daniel the most. I don’t really mind leaving Ethan, because I feel that he’s going to be okay. But I’m not so sure about Daniel; I think life is still going to be pretty tough for him. That’s why I’m sticking with him to find out what happens. Mr. Stocking is also a hard character to let go—which is why he turns up twice in the book (he was only supposed to be in one scene). I really want to find out more about what he’s all about. So that’s why Daniel and Mr. Stocking are getting their stories continued into another book.

10) and......The Trainspotting Reads/ Vita Dei Question-that-is-asked-to-EVERY-SINGLE-author......What is your stance on Vampires?

Well, I have to confess that most of what I know about vampires comes from the original Dracula book (no, I wasn’t around when it first came out—I’m not THAT old). I’ve heard that vampire stories have gotten pretty sexy these days, though, so I’m thinking I ought to check some out and get myself up to date.

There you go!

A Difficult Boy by M.P Barker is out NOW!

Review:Quondam by Jayel Gibson

Review of Quondam by Jayel Gibson


I really should start an award ceremony for books because everybook I read gets a new sort of category.

This book would win the OMG I can't believe how good this book was Award

I found this book by chance. I find most of the books I read by searching around. I discovered The Ancient Mirrors series by clicking on someones blog. From there I clicked a link. And then from this link I found Ms. Gibson's site. The art Ms. Gibson commisions for her work is AMAZING and it really drew me in to finding out more about her work. So I discover that she has an upcoming fantasy book called Quondam coming out-I honestly didn't read much into it-but I emailed around and before you know it I am sent a beautiful advanced copy of Quondam

Like I said-I didn't really look into this book at all. I realized after I get it that A) there where 3 books before it and B) everbody's name is really long and has stange commas in it

I was intimidated by this book. I really didn't know If I could handle it. I was afraid I was going to get completly confused and not get it and *continues rambling about how scared I was of book*

14 minutes later

okay......so after I go through how scared I am of it. I actually start to read it.

This was Thurday. It is now Saturday. The book is 320 pages long with small type.

To tell you all the truth-I was addicted to this book. I just got so caught up in it and I couldn't put it down.

Okay so now you know my story about it. Here's the actual review-bare with me cause this has Hamlet like family connections that get confusing. I'll go with each main character

Cwen-a Queen's niece that get's sucked into Quondam along w/ her aunt and her cousin
D'raekn-...........................where do I begin. He is 1/2 human, 1/2 dragon. He is the rightful heir of Quondam's throne but Kadrid has taken over Quondam.

I'm sure as you all can imagine that there is romance involved as well. I'm not going to go into it because it is such a beautiful part of the book and I don't want to butcher it with my rambling

If you are still alittle iffy on this book here's how I would describe it in the easiest form.

C.S's Lewis's Lion Witch and the Wardrobe -talking lions + Dragons + romance + some steam :) + cool character names - annoying Edmund + beautiful locations + PURE AWESOME= Quondam.

This book isn't really young adult but there is nothing in it that is any worse than anything I've read in YA and Teen novels-just some steam and a few curses here and there. This book is unlike anything I have ever read before and I loved it. I don't think I will be reading the 1st 3 anytime soon. I'm so busy and have a lot of other things to read. But the real reason is this. I love the picture this book painted in my head and I LOVE the way it is, I'm unsure it I want to change it. Besides-the other 3 can't have any Cwen/D'raekn romance in them. I WILL however definetly be checking out Ms. Gibson's next series Ever'neath - She is a great writer and I am glad to have discovered her.

Quondam, I believe, was released May 1.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Review:Nobody's Princess by Esther Friesner

Review of Nobody's Princess by Esther Friesner

Nobody's Princess deals with a young Helena of Troy(or at this time Of Sparta). It follows her adventures with her brothers, Castor and Polydeuces and her twin sister Clytemnesta.

I liked this book. Didn't love it or anything but it was good. I prefered the first 1/2 of the story that delt with Helen's jealousy and her sister more than the whole adventure part- and I like adventure.

The book was well written and the character where relatable to. I look forward to reading more from Esther Friesner. There is a sequel to this out called Nobody's Prize. I don't know when I'll get around to reading it because I have 6 books to read in the next like 3 weeks so..........

Anyway, I reccomend this to all my Royalty and history buff readers- you will enjoy it :)