Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Page 99 Test

Ford Madox Ford famously said, “Open the book to page ninety-nine, and the quality of the whole will be revealed to you.”

Now there's a website devoted to it. As a writer, you can upload published or unpublished page 99s of your work. Or as a reader you can go read the page 99s and vote/comment. You don't get to see who wrote it until after you vote. It's a lot of fun.

Here's what I posted from my romance entitled Kiss Me, I'm Irish.

“There's a park nearby,” Tinker said. “Let's go sit on a bench and chillax before going back to our stuffy motel room.”
Liam glanced down at Emily and thought that might be a good idea.
Emily kept her face averted as they walked the short distanced to a playground loaded with screaming kids. He noticed her occasionally wiping her eyes and felt his anger return. Was this just an act to make him feel like a monster? Damn, he needed a cigarette. Maybe nicotine would help him think straight if common sense didn't.
Tinker headed for the nearest tree and plopped onto the grass in front of it. Leaning against the trunk, she closed her eyes. Liam lowered himself onto a rickety picnic table as Emily did the same on the other side. She kept her gaze fastened on the children playing on the equipment. He reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out a pack of smokes.
“Don't even think about it,” Tinker said with her eyes still closed. “I heard that telltale crinkle. Think of the children.”
Liam ground his teeth as he shoved the pack back into his pocket. “You know I'm getting tired of always being told what to do by women.”
There's the L.J. we know and love,” she said.
Emily flashed a look at him but remained silent. Despite his frustration, he wanted to reach out to her. When she'd been in his arms, he noticed his qualms had eased somewhat. But now, watching the breeze lift strands of her hair, he struggled to reconcile the picture of a young woman exhibiting fragility in contrast with her illogical refusal to stand on a particular piece of cement. If she wasn't a stalker fan—and she hadn't tried to get into his pants yet—she had to be mental. But that didn't make sense either. The explanation that fit the best was her time-travel story. And yet that just wasn't possible. Liam turned to Tinker. “Are you done yet?”
“God, Liam, it's been five minutes. I swear, you're allergic to nature.”
“We have plans. I'm just saying we stick to the schedule.”
Tinker snorted.
“I appreciate your offer to let me stay,” Emily said in a low voice, “but you have no obligation to me.”
He clenched his jaw, remembering his gushing offer to keep her near. It must've been because she cried. How could he say no to a weeping female? And when he'd held her, he'd gone all mushy and protective. Maybe she was a stalker, but one who enjoyed the game more than the prize. And yeah, he was such a prize. Liam deflated and wished he had the guts to smoke a damn cigarette.

Thoughts? Advice? Would you turn the page?

No Tarnish Here

The first pages of Halo by Alexandra Adornetto are telling. There's a quote by Shakespeare, followed by one from Beyonce and throughout the book the reader is treated to the old and the new, the heavenly and the physical, the sacred and the worldly. I've been going through a spate of YA reads lately and Halo ended up on my radar, probably by an Amazon suggestion, and I enjoyed it to the last page. It's refreshing to see purity--not just sexual-- presented in a positive light in a book. While the premise of Halo wasn't all that original, the author (an 18 year old!) put a fresh spin on it that resonated with all the angst of teen love.

And after the grim, dystopian world of Katniss Everdeen, I was ready for some Bethany Rose Church.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Paranormal Tennessee...The Wild Men of Borneo

Check out my latest blog post at Southern Fried Gothic. The Wild Men of Borneo is a werewolf legend that's been promulgated right in my own back yard. Oww-ooooooo!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Pedal to the Metal Dracula Action

No broody, sparkly vamps are present (although one has a suspiciously red nose) in the new novel Draculas by Blake Crouch, Jack Kilborn, Jeff Strand, and F. Paul Wilson. 

The plural form of the noun 'dracula' has particular meaning in the novel, as there are LOTS. They don't read minds, tell the future, or look good in American Apparel. These are vamps one wants to avoid--desperately. Unless your DNA hearkens back to mists of antiquity when rulers were a leetle more brutal.

The book brims with blood, guts, and an array of characters who fight for their lives, and the lives of the innocent. Non-stop action, fangs and balloon animals abound with a liberal dose of black humor.

The book is also brimming with extras like short stories, deleted and alternate scenes, and novel excerpts by the authors' other works.

To read the first 50 pages, go here. The read the whole thing,  head to Amazon on October 19th.

And just because the book comes out in time for Halloween, don't dress up like a clown, 'kay?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Long Hard Times To Come for Raylan Givens

Honestly, you’re the angriest man I’ve ever known.”

Raylan Givens is told this by his ex-wife. And it was at that point I knew this was a great show (with seriously kickin' music).

Justified is about a U.S. Marshal (played by Timothy Olyphant) who is being sent back to his hometown of Kentucky in reprimand for a shooting. He killed a bad guy, who pulled first. He was justified.

But there's so much more to the soft-spoken lawman than being good at his job. There's an inner rage couched in the veneer of being on the right side of the law. It's no wonder he hooks up with a Southern Belle who killed her husband.

She was justified, too.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Mood music

Sometimes a song just hits home and sums of the theme of a current writing project. It's fun when that happens. The latest is Impossible by Anberlin. Sums up a relationship in my series in progress Apocalypse Babes.