Book #1 in the Songstress Trilogy
The Story...

Sixteen-year-old mermaid Abby Carson thought she had her secret under control. Who cares if after “the change” took place, she became so beautiful that all the girls at school hated her. And the boys, well, when they look at her, hate isn't exactly what's going through their minds.

But when Abby witnesses a teenage girl's murder by a preternatural creature off the coast of Cape Cod, her carefully controlled life slips into chaos. Hiding in the water until the killer's gone is a must. Getting spotted by Brian Baker, a boy from school, isn't. Neither is falling in love with him. That definitely wasn't part of the plan.

Combine all this with the mysterious mermaid box Abby receives as a postmortem birthday gift from her dad, and she's pulled even deeper into the world of shades and monsters. Once the full force of Abby's deadly siren powers are revealed, the only one she can hurt more than herself is the boy she loves.

Friday, October 28, 2011

So I Just Joined NaNoWriMo....

I just joined NaNoWriMo, which, for those of you who don't know, stands for National Novel Writing Month. It's basically where you, the intrepid though possibly crazy writer, try to write the entire rough draft of a novel in a single month. (What? you say. Is that even possible? ) Well, I sincerely hope it is because this November I am going to try and plough through the rough draft of Evening Tide, the next book in my series. I promise to do my best and keep everyone posted on my progress. Though who am I kidding? The only one reading this blog is ME. (Insert maniacal sobbing.)

Anyway, I'm super psyched (read incredibly terrified) about this new venture. My biggest concern is that my typing borders on ghastly, so I know it's going to slow me down. But I can't wait to start-- just three more days to go. Yea!!! (Or maybe scary ahhhhh! What have I just done!!!!)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Torment... Back-story and the Series Writer's Dilemma

 I just finished Lauren Kate's Torment, and I have to say that, though I liked Fallen more, this book was still a fun read. The plot was engaging, and I especially enjoyed the time traveling sections. However, Kate's writing wasn't as crisp as it was in Fallen, and the love story between Luce and Daniel began to grow a bit stale.

The biggest reason I read Torment was that I wanted to see how much of Fallen's back-story Kate put into the book. Usually when I read a series, I read all the books in a quick succession, and so I often skip over back-story info that I already know. However, since I'd read Fallen over a year ago and many of the plot intricacies were no longer fresh in my mind, I was really interested in seeing how Kate handled the great back-story dilemma. (Since I'm currently writing the sequel to my own novel, I'm dealing with this situation right now. I'm finding that, as a writer, you really have to strike the right balance so that you're not boring the reader with too much back-story, but, at the same time, you're not providing so little that he/she is completely lost.)

Kate was actually pretty smart in how she handled the back-story in Torment. She basically spread out the important bits of Fallen throughout Torment's first seventy pages, while, at the same time, she began building Torment's plot trajectory. This method was very successful because it made it virtually impossible for the reader to be hit over the head with too much information that he/she already knew. Plus, Kate sustained the readers interest by moving Torment's plot forward instead of just treading water while she reminded the reader about what had happened in the previous book. (I've read a couple novels where writers struggled with this, and it's really slowed down the beginnings of their books.)

So, in the technical back-story sense, I think Lauren Kate did an excellent job. Am I still in love with the series's storyline? Unfortunately, no. Fallen really gripped me, but this could be because Luce and Daniel's romance was fresher then. I think it's going to be very hard for Kate to maintain their relationship's intensity throughout four book, but we'll see.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I'm Twitterfied!!!

So I'm finally, FINALLY on Twitter. (You're probably saying to yourself that it took me long enough, and what century do I think I live in anyway?) Truth be told, I actually needed a writer friend's cajoling to get myself in gear, but I did it.  And though I do have a bit of techno anxiety about this strange new world, I'm also pretty psyched. So look out cyber world, here I come. And follow me...if you dare. :)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Water Mirror-- A Must Read!!!!

I just finished reading Kai Meyer's The Water Mirror, and it was amazing! I stumbled across it at the library and was immediately drawn in by the mermaids on its cover. (Of course these aren't typical mermaids at all. They have enormous, gaping mouths with several rows of razor sharp teeth!) The book centers on fourteen-year-old Merle, who is taken from a Venetian orphanage and sent to apprentice for a mirror maker who is rumored to build magical mirrors.

There is so much magic and intrigue in this book that I found it nearly impossible to put down. Merle is a strong and likable character, someone easy to root for as the story unfolds. Early in the book, we find out that Merle possesses a mirror of her own. It's the water mirror, the story's namesake, and though its surface looks like glass, Merle can actually stick her whole arm into it without her hand coming out the back end.

One of the things I really love about this book is its wild imagery. There are flying lions made of stone. Hell, it turns out, is a real place full of freakish ghouls that try and bargain with the Venetians. And the canals that wind their way through the city harbor mermaids and the Flowing Queen, a mysterious essence that protects the Venetians as well as their waterways.

Of course, as always, there's a love interest. Merle meets Serafin, a master thief who works for a weaver in the same district at Merle. Through happenstance, Merle and Serafin overhear a plot to destroy the Flowing Queen. This knowledge thrusts them into danger as they fight to save their city's protector from enemy forces.

I'm going to stop writing now because I don't want to give anything away, but this book was great.  I read it in a night.  It's part of the Dark Refections trilogy, and I'm planning on reading the other two installments as soon as I possible can!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Tron: Legacy...Wish I'd Seen It at the Movies

Last night I saw Tron: Legacy on Netflix, and it was EXCELLENT. I wish I could go back in time and see it at the movies, or better yet, in 3-D. But of course the price of a babysitter AND a movie (especially a 3-D one) is a little too steep for me, so I kept my dollars in my pocket. Stupid, stupid, stupid!!!

Now I'm a huge fan of the original Tron movie. In fact when I was eight, I was so impressed by the film that I wrote a play based on it. I called it Computer Kidnapped. Somehow, I managed to convince my third grade teacher to let me produce and direct it. Eventually, my cast of third graders performed Computer Kidnapped in front of the entire school.

Okay, back to Tron. As a kid, one of the things I really liked about Tron was the special effects. I also remember being desperately terrified of David Warner who plays, among other characters, the MCP (Master Control Program). I'm actually a little nervouse about watching the original again, and it's not because I'm still scared of David Warner. It's just that, sometimes, when I watch a movie that I loved as a kid, as an adult, it looks terrible to me. I actually destroy all the good feelings I have toward said movie. (This happened to me with Ladyhawke, by the way. If you liked that movie as a child, DO NOT watch it now!) I'm not saying that's what will happen with Tron, but I don't want to risk it.

Anyway, like Tron, Tron: Legacy was pretty fantastic. Though the plot is a teeny bit predictable, the special effects make it so you don't care. I really like the idea of falling into another world. (So in that way I guess there's an Alice in Wonderland feel to the movie.)

In Tron: Legacy, The Grid is a scary place. The sky is a dark slab of black that rolls over a desolate landscape. Most of the light in the movie comes from the red and blue glow of the various programs' suits and vehicles. Visually, it really is like you're inside a video game. Not a place I'd like to end up permanently, but a pretty amazing world to visit for a couple of hours. So two thumbs up from a late to the game watcher but still a huge fan!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

A Shark Movie to See...Aaaaaaahhhhh!!!

I just saw a very exciting shark movie the other day, and I wanted to mention it to everyone. Though the plot isn't great, and it's easy to guess who will perish (and in what order), the movie's greatest strength is that it's pumped full of adrenaline. I actually had to leave the room a couple of times. Yikes!

The movie's called The Reef, and it's based on a true story. (That one little fact really amped up the scare factor for me.) Here's the basic plot: Five people are sailing around the Great Barrier Reef when their boat capsizes. They are forced to swim to shore while being hunted by a great white shark.

So, though The Reef, is not anywhere nearly as good as Jaws, my all time favorite shark movie, if you're a shark movie fan then it's definitely worth seeing. The characters' reactions to the shark are particularly believable. I was (literally) on the edge of my seat.