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Monthly Archives: October 2008

For those of you who have never heard of NaNoWriMo it is National Novel Writing Month and it occurs in November.  This year I am a participant!!  The goal is to write a 175-page novel (approximately 50,000 words) in a month!  Think I can do it?  I sure do hope so!  Here is the prolouge that I have written for my novel, I wrote it last night. 

  If you control your breathing you can control your emotions.  I ran into an alley and looked around fearfully.  If you control your breathing you can control your emotions.  My heart beat at what seemed like a thousand miles per hour.  If you control your breathing you can control your emotions.  I dashed behind a dumpster and hoped that it wouldn’t find me.  If you control your breathing you can control your emotions.  I peeked around the corner, it was still there.  Breathe in, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.  Breathe out, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.  Again, breathe in….  I could feel my heart slowing down.  I peeked around the corner again, hoping that it would be gone.  There was no sign of it.  Slowly and carefully I crawled out of my hiding place.  Just remember, if you control your breathing you can control your emotions.  Still breathing slowly, I stepped out onto the street, the bright sun blinding me, my eyes must have adjusted to the darkness of the alley.  I turned left and started to walk towards Dr. Livingston’s house.

Please oh please tell me what you think, and if you have any suggestions, please let me know what they are!  If you’d like more information on NaNoWriMo or if you’d like to give support to me on this journey, e-mail me at penguinqueen@hotmail.com

Jesse Kimmel-Freeman author of Bella Notte

  You’ve been waiting for it and here it is!  Jesse, author of Bella Notte (not yet published) got back to me very quickly on this.  Thanks so much Jesse for taking the time to answer my questions!  I wish you luck on your book-publishing journey!  Here is a little bit about Bella Notte:  NOTE: This was taken directly from the official Bella Notte site.  Please do not use it in any way, shape, or form without the author’s consent.

Bella Notte is the first book in what I hope to be a four book series. It is the story of Emma Hutchinson and her transformation from the living human world into the not undead vampire world. You’ll find that my vampires are quite different from the everyday type, which I pride myself on. The story is filled with the normal issues that many teenagers are faced with on a day to day basis, but it is also colored with the lens on a vampire. You see, Emma was born human, but she was born to two vampires. Now, before you gasp for breath, you see, that is the way things go… they are all born human and then they go through a transformation or a change (whatever you want to call it) and their very DNA changes into a vampire. Her change is brought on by a very serious event (no I’m not going to tell you, you have to read the book to find out!). But it is her change that triggers all the really cool stuff that happens in the book. I really hope that you enjoy it, as I loved writing it and I can’t wait to start writing the next one.

Where did you first get the idea for Bella Notte?

Bella Notte came from my long obsession with vampires and my love of
the supernatural genre. I wish that I had an exact moment where I was
like ‘I know what I’ll write about,’ but unfortunately, I’m just not
that organized. It developed and grew into what it is today. It
started with me writing what I knew about Emma Hutchinson and Michael
O’Shanold down on paper from their perspective. I guess that was my
warm up. After I wrote that I out, the dream came and I built on to it
from there. There is a whole section that is part of the book, I think
it’s now chapter 4, 5, and 6 (originally it was just a really LONG
chapter 4) that wouldn’t even be there if I hadn’t had to take a break
while I was on strict lay down all the time bed rest while I was
pregnant with my son. So it was an organic process that grew… but it
started with my characters.
 

 When did you start writing?

I’ve always written and told stories, I also used to write poetry- one
day I hope to get my memorial book of poems for my sister published,
but I have to finish it first. My friends have just recently thought
to inform me that I was always an awesome story teller so it’s no
wonder that I wrote a book- I was clearly not aware of this! LOL. As
for Bella Notte, I started writing it around May of 2007, and finished
it after my son was born.
 

 When was it that you thought, “I should try and get this published!”?

I think from the very beginning I had hoped that I could get it
published. But it wasn’t until I had finished it and let my fiance and
best friend read it and they loved it! That was when I thought maybe
other people would actually like to read it too. Now let’s just hope
it gets published! :P
 

 How did you come up with the names for your books?

Well, Bella Notte- meaning beautiful night, is actually a name taken
from the story itself. It is the name of a club. Once I wrote out the
part where I named the club, I knew that was what I was going to call
the book. As for the others, once I decided on Bella Notte, I knew I
was going to be writing the story as a series so I needed something
that would go together, so I thought about what each book might have
in it and decided on the names. So you have Bella Vita (Book 2, which
I am currently working on) which means Beautiful Life, Bella Tristezza
(Book 3, which I have the prologue done for) which means Beautiful
Sadness, and Bella Morte (Book 4, I also have this prologue done as
well) meaning Beautiful Death. Each title has to do with something in
the book, but maybe not what the reader expects at first, so please
don’t think that the titles give away anything to the storyline- they
are merely a taste of what is to come. :)

 You say that you have conversations with the main character of Bella Notte,
 Emma Hutchinson. What do you two talk about?

Besides her waking me up during the middle of the night to tell me
something else I have to include in the books? She gives me her
opinions about stuff, or I’ll try and consider what she would think
about something I’m going to buy or do. It is by far the strangest way
to live in one’s own head that I think I’ve ever heard of. I am not
crazy in any sense, but I do hear voices. I don’t just hear Emma’s,
but she is the closest one to me- my friends tell me that she talks
and acts like I do, go figure. I hear all of my characters and it can
be quite crowded sometimes. The worst is when I’m in one of my
graduate classes and I’m trying to focus on what is being said when
they pop up and start talking about what I should be writing down.
That’s when I have to pull out my little composition book I carry
around for the book I’m working on and I have to write- if only to get
them to shut up! I probably sounds like I’m ready to be carted off to
the looney bin, but that is part of being a writer- you have to have a
connection to your characters.

Are you a fan of any of the other vampire books out there?

Heck yeah! I love them all! I’ve read so many. Vampires are my
obsession, did I mention that already? I’ve been reading about them
forever- long before the genre became what it is today. My bookcases,
yes plural, are filled with this stuff. I think right now the ones I
am keeping up with are: The Twilight Saga, Vampire Academy, Vampire
Kisses, The House of Night, Vampirates, Blue Bloods, I know there are
other ones, but I just can’t think of them. It is hard trying to fit
in extra reading on top of my grad school homework, baby time,
writing, and trying to keep my house stuff up- but somehow I manage!
:P

 Why do you think that everybody is so in to vampires?

I think that Meyer’s books have done a great job of getting people to
notice vampires. She is the current Anne Rice of our time. I think
that people have always had a thing for them, but right now it is
blown way up. The vampire allure is something that is a very powerful
thing, and it connects back to the idea of the unknown- you’re either
drawn to it or you fear it. Either case, it holds something for you
that could easily suck you in and never let you back… just look at
me!

 What were some of your favorite books/authors growing up?

I wish that I could say that I was an avid reader when I was a kid.
But the cold truth is that I HATED reading, I was slow at it and being
called on in class was the worst thing that could happen to me. I had
no confidence and it was hard for me. It wasn’t until I was an older
teen that I found the Harry Potter books, by then the first three were
in paperback, that I started reading. They were my starting point and
from there I read anything I could. In fact, in my storage unit I have
a HUGE box filled with used books I bought that are all the classics
that I never read when I was a kid, so one day when I have time I am
going to have lots of fun reading them.

 What was your dream job when you were little?

I wanted to be a paleontologist! I love dinosaurs. But when I started
college it was impossible to find an undergraduate vertebrate
paleontology program so I had to go with Anthropology instead, and
that’s what I did. So now I am working toward my degree in Archaeology
so I can be the next Indiana Jones!

 Do you have any advice for wannabe authors?

The most important thing to do is not give up. No matter what people
say to you, and sometimes it will be horrible things, do not give up.
When you finish your book and you send out query letters, do not let
the rejections you get make you feel bad. It is all a matter of
opinion, and as long as you believe your work is worth something, then
it matters! Your story should be told, so don’t give up!

 What do you think of penguins taking over the world?

Will they all have happy feet? I think that people should look out for
the dancing penguins first… they might be cute and all but you know
they are planning on taking things over as soon as we let our guard
down!
Thanks again, Jesse, for doing this!  I hope everybody has enjoyed reading this!  Please check out the official Bella Notte site at http://bellanottethebook.weebly.com/index.html

Author: Scott Westerfeld

Review:

Tally Younglood is now one of the rumored Specials (if you didn’t figure it out from the book title). Tally has two choices, to carry out the mission she was given and destroy the Smokies, or to listen to a little voice inside her that is telling her to do good. Which will she choose? You’ll have to read it to find out, and I suggest that you do! Scott Westerfeld really pulls you into the story and keeps you guessing until the very end. Once you have read Uglies, Pretties, and Specials, do not miss the last book in the series, Extras. These books are definitely worth buying and adding to your library.

Specials by Scott Westerfeld is a great book. I would recommend it to anybody that has read the first two books in the series, Uglies, and Pretties. If you have not read the first two books, Specials will most likely be pretty confusing! When I first started reading it I wasn’t to sure about it, it seemed like I had already read it, I was ready for something new and exciting. After the first few chapters it got a lot better!

I have some very exciting news!  The up and coming author of Bella Notte (not yet published) Jesse Kimmel-Freeman has agreed to let me interview her!  I’m looking forward to doing this interview and I hope that you look forward to reading it!  You can visit the official Bella Notte website by going to http://bellanottethebook.weebly.com/  Stay tuned for the interview!

Author:Henning Mankell

Review:

Shadows in the Twilightis about a soon to be twelve year old, Joel Gustafson.  One day, Joel experiences a Miracle.  As he is crossing the street, not looking where is going, he is run over by a bus, right before the bus hits him though, he trips and falls in just the right place that the bus merely goes over him, not injuring him at all.  Joel has never before experienced a Miracle and he isn’t quite sure what to do about it.  Does he thank God?  He knows that he has to do something to show his gratitude, he doesn’t want the Miracle to get reversed.  Joel decides on doing a good deed.  He knows a lady who is very sad, and he thinks that she needs a husband.  So Joel sets out to find her one.  Will he be able to find the right man for her, and will he be able to get them together?

I personally hated this book (yes, I know I could have used less strong wording).  I didn’t like the story line at all and I found it very boring.  I also found it hard to follow.  It seemed like the author kept changing what he was talking about suddenly, instead of smoothly going from one topic to another.

Overall I would give it 1 star. 

Author: Erica Verrillo

Review: 

  Elissa’s Odyssey

by Erica Verrillo is the second book in the Phoenix Rising series.  Elissa has finally escaped from the Khan with the help of the Blue people and her new friend Maya.  Now, the only thing she wants is to be reunited with her father.  Elissa and Maya are put on a boat, but Elissa is soon separated from Maya when she gets off the boat to go shopping.  Will she ever get back to her friend Maya, and will she ever see her father again?

 

I would give this book 4 stars.

  I have extremely terribly new for fans of the Mandie series by Lois Gladys Leppard.  On October 5, 2008, this wonderful author passed away.  My prayers go out to her family and friends, and to all who loved her wonderful books.  We will dearly miss you, Lois Gladys Leppard.

Author: Jan Adkins

 

Review:

Frank Lloyd Wright had a very interesting life.  Once he was out in the world on his own, his mother still went everywhere with him, no matter where he moved, she always lived no more than 2 hours away.  When he was a child his father left and his mother re-married.  She abused her new husband’s children.  This did not have a good affect on Frank.  When he was older he was never mentally sound.  He had several wives and several children, and he never was good with his finances.  Even though all these things were going on, he was an amazing architect.  Designing buildings had always been easy to him, even when he was a small child.  During the 1920’s he built one of his most innovative residences, Graycliff, just south of Buffalo, New York.  He died on April 9th, 1959.

I found this book very interesting.  I had heard of Frank Lloyd Wright, but I didn’t know anything about him.  He built some really cool buildings and I am very glad that I now know more about him.  This book was well written, easy to understand, and gave a lot of interesting information. 
 

 
Overall I give it 5 stars.


Author:
R.D. Hehman

Review:

 

Red Dragon Codex is about a boy named Mudd and his sister Hiera.  The two go on a quest to find a silver dragon pendant, once they find it, a silver dragon will grant one wish.  To get to the pendant though, they must pass three tests of courage, love, and truth.  Along the way they meet several people who agree to go with them, each person wants the dragon pendant for something different.  

 
 
I really enjoyed Red Dragon Codex and would recommend it to anybody that enjoys fantasy. I think it would have been cool if the author had put in a foreign language, either one he had made up, or a real one, and then put a glossary in the back.  Other than that it was an excellent book and I am looking forward to reading the rest in the series. 
 

 

Overall I give it 4 stars.