Sunday, September 26, 2010

YES!!!!!

You can't see it, but I am so doing the happy dance right now!

I've struggled for a long time now over the remaining books in THE PEASANT QUEEN series. Initially, they were going to be THE PEASANT QUEEN, THE WILD QUEEN and THE TYRANT KING. While TPQ and TTK have been rich, fantastic stories to tell, TWQ has been like a constant plague, the kind that makes you want to go into accounting or something. There's a great story there, but it lacks a solid, satisfying resolution. And the main character, or at least a primary character, vanishes 2/3 of the way through the book. That mystery is never solved. In fact, the bad guy is never unmasked, and gets away scott-free.

HOW can this be a satisfying story?

In truth, it can't be. Or it would take an author way, WAY more talented than I am to bring it to life.

But, part of the story of TWQ is told in THE PEASANT QUEEN. Another part of the mystery is revealed in THE TYRANT KING. And, at the end of THE TYRANT KING there is a character that the readers don't really get to know, someone with tons of angst and conflict who has a story to tell.

She is THE LOST PRINCESS.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

My review: The Stone Traveler by Kathi Oram Peterson


I had not read any of Kathi's work before, so when she contacted me to do a review I have to say I was excited.

First, a description of the book: Sixteen-year-old Tag can't believe he's in this much trouble. He's not actually a member of the gang known as the Primes-all he did was spray paint some graffiti that caught their attention. In all honesty, ever since his dad and brother left, Tag just wants to be alone. And it's certainly not his fault that the Primes nearly beat up his goofy cousin, Ethan. But his mom is furious about these gang-related activities and insists that Tag spend the whole summer at his grandpa's lakeside cabin, which is not Tag's idea of a good time. So he does what any self-respecting teenager would do: run away. But he doesn't get far before he encounters three strange men carrying an even stranger object-a stone that glows with radiant light as bright as a thousand sparklers. Tag doesn't steal the stone-not exactly. He feels like he is supposed to take it. But he doesn't expect the stone to transport him through space and time to a place he's never seen before-a place that looks an awful lot like the ancient lands described in the Book of Mormon. And he definitely doesn't expect to join Sabirah, the entrancing daughter of Samuel the Lamanite, on a quest to rescue her father and brother from the evil King Jacob. And he absolutely doesn't expect to be captured by Jacob's minions and prepared as a sacrifice to the evil idol of the city. But just as Tag faces his death, a terrible storm begins to break, and the ground cracks into jagged pieces. And he's not sure which event will impact his life more: his captor's knife coming at his body, the violent tempest sweeping the land . . . Or the men who later appear, glowing even more brightly than the traveler's stone.

My thoughts: I found this book to be quite engaging. I knew Tag had a deep, dark secret that he'd blocked out, but it was hard for me to be patient until near the end to find out what exactly he'd hidden from himself. And Sabirah, who is also a primary character, was absolutely delightful. I found her completely believable as a young, righteous woman fighting with all she had to bring her father and brother home.

The Stone Traveler felt real. I could picture Tag, how he saw himself and how others saw him. I understood Sabirah and her struggles. I saw the evil and it creeped me out. And in some parts, where the characters weren't sure which direction was right, I found I wasn't either. And, of course, for those of you looking for it, I did cry at the end--okay, near the end. There were a couple of very touching scenes that made my eyes leak.

I did find a section near the end where it seemed like Tag was speaking formally and it didn't sound quite like him, but overall the book had good character distinction. Most of the time I didn't need to check at the top of the section to know which--Tag or Sabirah--character's thoughts I was reading. And I will say that I found one particular section dealing with Christ to be difficult for me to read. Not because of any failing on the part of the book or author, but a personal preference and feeling all my own.

Those things said, I had a great time reading The Stone Traveler, and I bet you will too.

Don't forget to click HERE and take part in Kathi's exciting contest! Contest ends September 30!

Don't have a Heart Attack...but I'm Back!

If ANYONE has been paying attention, it's been over a month since I sent out a new blog post here. I think about all my blogs and my followers every day, and wonder who is out there hanging on my every post and waiting, hoping, praying, for more bits of wisdom.

Then I wake up lol. :)

But, seriously, I haven't felt the inspiration needed to post for so long. It's frustrating, but I don't want to post just for the sake of doing so--I want to actually have something to say.

So, here it is: I have never read The Hunger Games series. There, I said it. And now, I will explain why.

I'm unearthly, unreasonably, unseasonably stubborn.

I'm going to take you back in time. It's 1987, and the movie The Princess Bride is in theaters. My friend calls me up to tell me she just saw the movie, and I HAVE to go see it. It's my kind of movie--sword fighting, princesses, etc. And so FUNNY! And we hang up.

My first thought--why? Why should I go see a movie just because someone tells me to? Sure, it's pretty popular and she just loved it, but so what? I hate doing things just because other people do them. So I didn't. I wasn't mean or anything about it. I just never went to see the movie.

Then one day I saw it on video. Yeah, that was before DVD. And, of course, I loved it.

But that didn't really teach me anything. A few years ago, a friend brought me Twilight. I think the third book had just come out, and I was barely reading the first. Why? Because every one else was. Same with Harry Potter, but I did jump on that band wagon way sooner than with any others, simply because my little (at least she was at the time) stepdaughter was loving them.

And now, it's Hunger Games. I still wouldn't be reading them except my new book club has chosen Mockingjay for their book next month, and I hate reading a series out of order.

Someday I'll figure out what this stubborn-refusal-to-follow-the-crowd makes me. Aside from the obvious. Am I a maverick? I like the sound of that. Trailblazer? Well, maybe not so much. Original? Definitely. Frustrating? I'm sure, to some. :) Fortunately, they love me anyway.