uglies series

What Is YA? by Scott Westerfeld (Reblogged)

What Is YA? (How To Write YA 1) (Reblogged)

I went to Scott Westerfeld’s website after I reviewed Afterworlds. He is running a series that anyone who writes, wants to write, or even reads YA should check out. I put the first 2 paragraphs here, with a link to his page. Check it out. Quite interesting.

What Is YA? (HTWYA 1)

by Scott Westerfeld

Scott WesterfeldMy next novel, Afterworlds, is about a young writer reworking her first novel after NaNoWriMo. I thought a fun and useful promotion for it would be a series of writing advice posts. I got carried away.

So between now and November, this blog will host excerpts from a non-fiction book I’m releasing next year, called How to Write YA. You can’t buy it yet, because it’s not done, but you can preorder Afterworlds. It comes out September 23.

http://scottwesterfeld.com/blog/2014/09/what-is-ya-htwya-pt-1/

The Winners of Ark Storm by Linda Davies

Ark StormMy wife picked the two lucky winners of Ark Storm..

TOR/Forge Books will be sending a hardcover copy of Ark Storm to…

Jeanette G.
and
Sheila K.

I hope that both of you will enjoy your books. I got my copy from UPS today, so I will be starting it sometime next week, and should have a review up around October 1. I am sending an email to the lucky winners to tell them that they won, and also to TOR/Forge Books to tell them where to send the books.

Jeanette and Sheila, come back and tell me what you thought of the book.

A big thanks goes out to Ardi Alspach, Associate Publicist for TOR/Forge Books for providing the books used in this contest.

Ark-Storm1

Ark Storm Giveaway Ends Tuesday at Midnight EDT

Enter now to win one of two Hardcover copies of Ark Storm by Linda Davies

Go to Free Book Giveaway! Win a Hardcover of Ark Storm by Linda Davies for contest details. Only U.S. and Canada.

Ark Storm LindaDaviesThe Ark Storm is coming—a catastrophic weather event that will unleash massive floods and wreak more damage on California than the feared “Big One.” One man wants to profit from it. Another wants to harness it to wage jihad on American soil. One woman stands in their way: Dr. Gwen Boudain, a brave and brilliant meteorologist.

When Boudain notices that her climate readings are off the charts, she turns to Gabriel Messenger for research funding. Messenger’s company is working on a program that ionizes water molecules to bring rain on command. Meanwhile, Wall Street suits notice that someone is placing six-month bets on the prospect of an utter apocalypse and begin to investigate. Standing in the shadows is journalist Dan Jacobsen, a former Navy SEAL. War hardened, cynical, and handsome, Jacobsen is a man with his own hidden agenda.

Linda Davies’s Ark Storm brings together the worlds of finance, scientific innovation, and terrorism in a fast-paced thrill ride that will leave readers gasping.

A Review of Singing My Life: The Story of Kongar-ool Ondar by Valentina Suzukei

Singing My Life: The Story of Kongar-ool Ondar, Legendary Throat Singer from Tuva

by Valentina Suzukei, translated by Aksai Bapa

Singing“This book is a collection of stories from Mr. Ondar’s life, compiled by his good friend Tuvan ethnomusicologist Dr. Valentina Suzukei.” (Quote from Aksai Bapa).

This book is an interesting look into life in Tuva, a small province of Russia. It is located just north of Mongolia, in central Asia. You get to follow the life of Kongar-ool from early childhood until his death at the age of 51 in 2013. You learn of the tough times he had as a youth, how he was imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit, and how he was elected to the Tuvan Parliament, the Great Khural. During all of these events, he was becoming a well-known throat singer (khoomei). He went on to tour worldwide and he also recorded a few albums. I was able to go on iTunes and purchase one of them, “Back Tuva Future”. I listened to it as I read this book.

Most of the book was about the life of Kongar-ool, but the author also let you know that Tuvan culture was in danger of being trampled down by the central Russian bureaucrats. You got the feeling that this book was more than just a life-story of one of the most famous throat singers, it was also trying to bring the Tuvan culture to the forefront. He doesn’t want the world to forget, to allow their folk music to be obliterated by the cultural committees in Moscow. And after listening to the music and watching the videos on YouTube, I agree. This should not be allowed to happen.

Singing My Life is a collection of stories, originally written in Russian, and then translated to English, and published this August as a Kindle e-book. There are many photographs, which really add to the completeness of the book. This will teach you about the phenomenon of throat-singing, how it is done, who does it, and why it is important that it is preserved, but unless you continue on and listen to the music and view the performances, you will be missing most of the story. Once you see Kongar-ool Ondar on stage, you will understand why this book had to be written. I think this is an important book. If you want a more complete sense of our planet, and what music can do to bring us all together, you should read this book.

I give this book 4 Stars out of 5, it has some faults, but I encourage you to read it. You need to broaden your view of the world, and I think you will like it.

Some YouTube links.
3 styles of Tuvan overtone throat singing – Kongar-ool Ondar
Back TUVA Future: Ondar in Vladivostok
Kongar ol Ondar – My Tuva – Benim Tuvam (Türk Dünyası Ezgileri)

Book Description

August 31, 2014
Valentina Süzükei takes readers on a journey through the life of legendary throat singer Kongar-ool Ondar. When he came onto the scene in 1989, Ondar was one of the pioneers of Tuvan throat singing in the West. Süzükei tells stories of his childhood, his first travels abroad, his collaborations with Frank Zappa, and his work on the Genghis Blues motion picture.

Book Details

File Size: 9295 KB
Print Length: 134 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: Bapalar (August 31, 2014)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
ASIN: B00N70ZM4E
Text-to-Speech: Enabled
X-Ray: Not Enabled
Lending: Enabled

This book was given to me by the translator, Aksai Bapa, with the knowledge that I would give it an unbiased review.

The Book Description and details are from Amazon. Singing My Life: The Story of Kongar-ool Ondar, Legendary Throat Singer from Tuva

 

 

Twilight Images- A Haunting Journey of Suspense

A Review of Twilight Images: A Haunting Journey of Suspense by Ethel Lewis

Twilight Images: A Haunting Journey of Suspense

by Ethel Lewis

Ms. Lewis had an interesting idea for a story. Thad Connors has been having nightmares. These nightmare started 10 years ago, after his parents died in what the police said was a murder/suicide, but he never believed that they had discovered the whole story. He felt that the only way to rid himself of his nightmares, was he to find out what really happened.

This book was written fairly well, but there were a few problems that new authors often have. Sometimes the action seemed to drag, like Ms. Lewis was afraid to speed it up, because she didn’t want the book to be too short. She also didn’t allow Thad to work hard enough on his investigation. He would spend a whole day on something that should have only taken a few hours. I think that she may want to use her town in Texas as the setting for her next book. That way she will know the area better and will be able to add those local details that always make a novel so interesting. In fact, she may find that she has to edit out some of the details, because the book is running too long.

Ms. Lewis also needs to work on her dialog. At time it feels stiff and stilted. Setting her book in Texas might also take care of that problem, and give the dialog a bit of an authentic feel. But don’t try to work the accent in, that is very tough to do, and seldom works.

When I think of authors and the way they handle locations and dialog, the first name that comes to mind is Elmore Leonard. He had some tips on writing that most new writers should at least read, and then decide if they are helpful. He summarized his ten tips, “My most important rule is one that sums up the 10. If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.” From WRITERS ON WRITING; Easy on the Adverbs, Exclamation Points and Especially Hooptedoodle.

I give this book 3 Stars out of 5. It is a quick read, and only costs 99 Cents, so if you want to read a mystery by a new author, and to spend a couple of hours of reading for pocket change, grab it, I think that you will be entertained.

I received this book for free from the author, Ethel Lewis, in return for an honest review.

Book Description
August 1, 2014
Twilight Images- A Haunting Journey of SuspenseThe death of Thad Connors parents ten years ago was ruled Murder/Suicide. The case had been investigated, the crime scene searched . . . All findings compete. Case closed!But Thad had his doubts.They had to be wrong. There had to be something more.And he knew he couldn’t let it go.For the past ten years he had been drowning in a sea of gruesome and haunted nightmares. He couldn’t rest until he got to the bottom of it. He had to find the answers, he had to solve the mystery.It would mean going back . . . opening old wounds . . . reliving old memories. He would be embarking on a haunting and suspense filled journey into his past. But the truth had to be found. If not, . . . the nightmares might win, . . . he might forever be lost in their endless black abyss.

Book Details

File Size: 568 KB
Print Length: 149 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: Ethel Lewis; 1 edition (August 1, 2014)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
ASIN: B00MCSO92I
Text-to-Speech: Enabled
X-Ray:Not Enabled
Lending: Not Enabled
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #119,937 Paid in Kindle Store

About the Author

Born in Dallas, Texas in 1948
“Texan born and Texan bred.”
Currently live in Galveston, Texas.
I share my home with my four friends and companions—all of which have four legs and very furry bodies. Two cats, two dogs.
What’s that old expression? “Jack of all trades, master of none.”
That pretty well describes me. Earned a living grooming dogs and cats for thirty years, drove an eighteen-wheeler for nearly ten years.
Raised two wonderful children, a son and a daughter–both now grown, have 5 grand-kids, and 2 great-grand-kids. Love ‘em all.
I recently retired, and am excited to finally find the time to do what I enjoy doing most – Writing the stories and telling the tales, born in my imagination…

The Book Description and Details are from Amazon.  Twilight Images: A Haunting Journey of Suspense

storm

Free Book Giveaway! Win a Hardcover of Ark Storm by Linda Davies

TOR Books is giving two lucky readers of my blog a chance to win a copy of Ark Storm by Linda Davies.

(Limited to readers who live in the U.S. and Canada)

This sounds like a great book. TOR will be sending me an ARC, so I will get to read Ark Storm too, but you two lucky winners will get the Hardcover version. Here is the info from Amazon.

Ark StormThe Ark Storm is coming—a catastrophic weather event that will unleash massive floods and wreak more damage on California than the feared “Big One.” One man wants to profit from it. Another wants to harness it to wage jihad on American soil. One woman stands in their way: Dr. Gwen Boudain, a brave and brilliant meteorologist.

When Boudain notices that her climate readings are off the charts, she turns to Gabriel Messenger for research funding. Messenger’s company is working on a program that ionizes water molecules to bring rain on command. Meanwhile, Wall Street suits notice that someone is placing six-month bets on the prospect of an utter apocalypse and begin to investigate. Standing in the shadows is journalist Dan Jacobsen, a former Navy SEAL. War hardened, cynical, and handsome, Jacobsen is a man with his own hidden agenda.

Linda Davies’s Ark Storm brings together the worlds of finance, scientific innovation, and terrorism in a fast-paced thrill ride that will leave readers gasping.

Product Details

Hardcover: 448 pages
Publisher: Forge Books; First Edition edition (August 19, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0765336731
ISBN-13: 978-0765336736
Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.4 x 1.5 inches
Shipping Weight: 1 pounds

About the Author

LindaDaviesLINDA DAVIES is a graduate in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics from Oxford University, and worked for seven years an as investment banker before escaping to write novels. Davies’s first novel, Nest of Vipers, has been published in more than thirty countries, selling over two million copies. She is also a winner of the Philip Geddes Prize for journalism. Davies is married with three children. She lives by the sea in Suffolk.

Linda Davies HomePage    Linda Davies Facebook Page

Contest Details

There will be two winners of Ark Storm. They will be randomly selected on September 16, 2014.
This contest starts today September 4, 2014, and will close at Midnight EDT, September 16, 2014. I will email the winners, and post the winners here on September 17th.

If you would like to be one of the lucky winners, just follow these easy steps.
1.     Send an email to contests at mackela dot com.
2.    Use Ark Storm as the subject.
3.    Include your mailing address. (So TOR books can send you a copy of Ark Storm)

This contest is only open for readers in the United States and Canada.

Please only one entry per person. I will be putting your email addresses in a box and my wife will be drawing out the winners, so I will know if you have multiple entries.
Once the contest is over, I will be deleting all the emails that you send (including the mailing addresses).

A special thanks to Ardi Alspach (Associate Publicist | Tor & Forge Books) for providing the books for this giveaway!

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