What would you do if you only had 24 hrs left? #MyFinal24

Are you subscribed to writer Alexandra Franzen’s newsletter? If not, you should be. Her letters are thoughtful and inspiring. Anyway, her new book So This Is The End: A Love Story has just been released! The novel is about the last 24 hours of the main character Nora’s life. Basically, the book poses the question: If you had just 24 hours to live, what would you do with your time?

So? What would you do?

Alex posed this question in her latest newsletter and I have to say it took me a few minutes to come up with my own list, which I’m sharing below.

Continue reading “What would you do if you only had 24 hrs left? #MyFinal24”

Book Club Bash: 5 Authors, Big Prizes

Welcome to Book Club Bash! From December 10 to 14, we’re celebrating our love for books and book clubs! We’re also featuring five awesome books that are great for book clubs during this event. You can find more details about these fantastic books below.

Today we’ll be sharing why we love books and book clubs. On the 12th, I’ll be posting a review of one of the five fabulous books featured in this event.

Click on the banner above for more details on the fun activities lined up for the week, and check out the huge Rafflecopter giveaway at the end of this post!


Why we love books and book clubs

Okay, technically I have never been in a book club, online or otherwise, but I have a lot of reader friends and we’ve had those book talks. It’s always nice to talk about books with fellow readers, especially over coffee or drinks. I know some clubs bust out the wine for their book sessions! Anyway, I do enjoy book-talk with friends and hearing about why they like or hate a certain book. I love discovering different perspectives. Sometimes people see things that I don’t and it’s always awesome when I find out about details I wasn’t paying attention to. Knowing other people’s perspectives also helps get to know them better. Aside from that, talking with fellow book lovers also means getting a lot of great book recommendations!

The five awesome books we’re featuring in Book Club Bash:

Scorpio Rising by Monique Domovitch

Set in New York and Paris amid the glamorous and competitive worlds of art and real estate, Scorpio Rising takes the reader from the late 1940s to the 1960s through the tumultuous lives of its heroes.There is Alex Ivanov, the son of a Russian immigrant and part-time prostitute. He yearns to escape his sordid life and achieve fame and fortune. His dreams of becoming a world-class builder are met with countless obstacles, yet he perseveres in the hope of someday receiving the recognition he craves.Half a world away, Brigitte Dartois is an abused teenager who runs into the arms of a benefactor with an agenda all his own. When she finds out that her boss has an ulterior motive, she flees again, determined to earn her living through her art. This career brings her fame, but also the unwanted attention of her early abuser.

Monique Domovitch’s debut novel, Scorpio Rising, is a compelling tale filled with finely etched characters and a superb understanding of the power of ambition. Scorpio Rising promises to resonate with all who once had a dream.

X-It by Jane George

LOVE IS A DRUG.

In 1980 NYC, eighteen-year-old J.J. Buckingham is an uptight trendoid. Working as a mannequin painter and a counter girl, she moonlights as a creature of the nightclubs. J.J. falls for aloof, crazy-talented artist and bicycle messenger X-It. In order to win his love, she succumbs to the dark machinations of drug dealer Marko Voodoo. X-It will love her if she’s the queen of underground Manhattan, right? Her plan backfires with horrendous consequences. J.J. must scrap her way out of a maze of drugs, clubs, and danger before she realizes she’s worthy of a better life. And true love might just come in the form of a clean-cut geek in Buddy Holly glasses.

Kingdom by Anderson O’Donnell

In a secret laboratory hidden under the desert, a covert bioengineering project–codename “Exodus”–has discovered the gene responsible for the human soul.

Somewhere in the neon sprawl outside the nation’s collapsing economic core, a group of renegade monks are on the verge of uncovering a secret that has eluded mankind for centuries.

In a glittering tower high above the urban decay, an ascendant U.S. Senator is found dead–an apparent, yet inexplicable, suicide.

And in the streets below, a young man races through an ultra modern metropolis on the verge of a violent revolution….closing in on the terrible truth behind Exodus–and one man’s dark vision for the future of mankind. Welcome to Tiber City.

Bluff by Lenore Skomal

“To the medical world, I was a host body, surviving only to bring a new life into the world. And while I wanted to die more than anything in the world, I never wanted this. No, I never wanted to cease to exist. This was the worst death of all.”

Jude Black lives in that in-between, twilight place teetering on death but clinging to life in order to bring her baby into this world. Only she knows the circumstances surrounding her mysterious fall off the bluff that landed her in the hospital being kept alive by medical intervention. Only she knows who the father of her baby is. In this poignantly crafted literary novel, the mystery unfolds and the suspense builds as the consequences of Jude’s decisions threaten to reveal everyone’s deceptions, even her own. Bluff offers a sensitive look at essential questions such as the value of human life, the consciousness of those in a coma and the morality of terminating life support. At the core is the story of a tragically misunderstood woman who finds peace, acceptance, understanding and even love on her deathbed.

Shadow On The Wall by Pavarti K. Tyler

Recai Osman: Muslim, philosopher, billionaire and Superhero? WINNER OF THE GENERAL FICTION/NOVEL CATEGORY OF THE 2012 NEXT GENERATION INDIE BOOK AWARDS!

Controversial and daring, Shadow on the Wall details the transformation of Recai Osman from complicated man to Superhero. Forced to witness the cruelty of the Morality Police in his home city of Elih, Turkey, Recai is called upon by the power of the desert to be the vehicle of change. Does he have the strength to answer Allah’s call or will his dark past and self doubt stand in his way? Pulling on his faith in Allah, the friendship of a Jewish father-figure and a deeply held belief that his people deserve better, Recai Osman must become The SandStorm. In the tradition of books by Margaret Atwood and Salman Rushdie, Shadow on the Wall tackles issues of religion, gender, corruption and the basic human condition. Beautiful and challenging, this is not a book to miss.

Click on the event banner at the top of this post to check out the other participating blogs and for more details on the fun activities lined up for the week!

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Help Raise 1,000 books for charity and enter to win $200, signed books and swag!

We are excited to share about an ambitious blog tour—Fiction Frolic for All Hallow’s Read—where ten authors from several genres are working hard to raise 1,000 books in three weeks for Books for America.

From October 1st to 19th, donate a new book (or books!) and earn extra bonus points in a huge giveaway that these authors are hosting.

Two winners will each receive the following PRIZES!

  • $100 Amazon G.C.
  • 5 signed books from the authors hosting the event
  • A swag bag
  • Plus—in honor of All Hallow’s read, gift a signed copy of one of our books to a friend!

With a total of $200, 12 signed books (including the gifted books) and major swag, what better way is there to raise books for charity and celebrate All Hallow’s Read?

Each author participating is also donating signed copies of their books to Books for America, an awesome charity that is officially sponsoring their event and excited to be involved with All Hallow’s Read. In 2011, Books for America donated more than $800,000 worth of books and materials to DC area schools, shelters and dozens of other educational programs and organizations.

The authors are blogging throughout the event at The Fiction Frolic Blog.

  • 10/1-5 Read about how books shaped their love for reading and writing.
  • 10/8-12 Read their scariest, funniest or craziest Halloween experiences, or learn about their favorite Halloween themed book or movie, or favorite work of “dark” literature.
  • 10/15-19 Enjoy some flash fiction, short stories and novel excerpts.

So donate, share, and look for daily ways to enter to win. Donate to charity for bonus points!.

This event is sponsored by:
Eleanor T Beaty, author of the YA paranormal Veiled Mist
Brewin’ author of the supernatural horror, The Dark Horde
Andy Gavin, author of the fantasy horror, The Darkening Dream
Laxmi Hariharan, author of the YA fantasy, The Destiny of Shaitan
Kimberly Kinrade, author of the YA paranormal thriller/romances, Forbidden Mind & Forbidden Fire
Richard Long, author of the supernatural thriller/horror, The Book of Paul
M.C. Mars, author of the mind-bending novel, Burner
Melissa McPhail, author of epic fantasy Cephrael’s Hand
Sheryl Steines, author of She Wulf & Days of First Sun
Pavarti K Tyler, author of the Lit Fic Shadow on the Wall and the erotic horror Consumed by Love

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Ten Novels: Your Ticket to Heaven (a guest post)

This is a guest post by Danielle Norrish.


If God were a book-lover wouldn’t you be really annoyed if the only reason why he didn’t allow you to enter heaven is because you haven’t read a single book in your whole lifetime? (No, the required reading you did in school won’t count). While a lot of people do like to read, there are also a number who don’t and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with them. People are just different; it’s just as simple as that. However, if it would mean earning you a place in heaven, wouldn’t you want to ensure that you have a reserved seat for you up there? And God asked “So what books have you read?” You can at least name one or a few titles like:

1. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
You’ll never know, God might just be an English man, you wouldn’t want to offend him by not having read a single Dickens book. For non-readers, it’s easy to get turned-off by classics. After all, it’s hard to empathise with characters that lived so long ago with different values and even manner of speaking. However, this is Dickens at his best – a story with unforgettable characters, a comedy and at the same time, a heart-breaking tale of despair and tragedy.

2. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabrielle Garcia Marquez
For those who read to escape from reality, this is the book for you. A wonderful tale filled with magic realism, love, family drama, ghosts, and mysterious prophesies, this book will certainly fill your appetite for escapism.

3. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
This great American novel is definitely a must-read for any book lover or would-be book enthusiast – a classic tale about racism and bigotry in the Deep South during the depression.

4. Catcher in the Rye by J.D Salinger
This coming-of-age book has long been known to be a “bible” for many brooding, angst-ridden teen-ager. With a rebellious, anti-hero character, Holden Caulfield, it is of no wonder that many youngsters can relate to him.

5. Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
Everyone knows about the Lord of the Rings, if not the book, then the movie. This is an incredible epic fantasy tale about hobbits, wizards, elves and other creatures. If you’ve enjoyed it on the big-screen, you’d even love it more in the fine small print. The Lord of the Rings is definitely one of the best novels of all time.

6. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
A passionate love story set in the Victorian times. This novel is a great depiction of how harsh it was growing up as an orphan and a woman in the 18th century.

7. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Some refer to this book as the ultimate psychological novel written about doom versus redemption.

8. Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham.
The frustrations of physical impediment, wasted love and thwarted ambition. Philip Carey’s search for peace and contentment, perhaps even a sense of salvation. A beautifully written novel.

9. 1984 by George Orwell.
What do you mean you haven’t read it? Just because we’ve passed the year of the title don’t think that Orwell’s dystopian vision doesn’t still carry a warning for all mankind.

10. Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling
If all the above titles have just given you a headache, you won’t go wrong with any of the Harry Potter books. This charming tale about a young magician and his three friends is an easy read for any non-reader.

How about you, what’s on your list?

This post is written by Danielle Norrish, a talented writer being a full-time freelancer. Her current occupation is writing for a resume builder website, where she collects all her knowledge into the resume building.


Why I should read fairy tales and the classics and kick ass!

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Late last night I suddenly remembered that I had a 30-day creative writing challenge to kick off over at my other blog. The first task was to re-write a fairy tale. Off the top of my head I thought about Little Red Riding Hood, but then I realized that story has already been re-told many times. I wanted to pick a little known or unpopular fairy tale so I went to Google and found a long list of the Grimms’ Fairy Tales on Wikipedia. Dammit, I wasn’t familiar with most of them. Anyway, I looked at the list and picked a somewhat familiar one and read through it quickly. While reading through the story I began to realize that it sounded very similar to one of the books I reviewed a few months back. Holy incapacity, Batman! I just read and reviewed a re-telling of a fairy tale and didn’t even know it! Plus I obviously didn’t do enough research about the book because I don’t remember reading anything mentioning a fairy tale. Gah. I could have said so many things about the book if I knew it was a re-telling of an old twisted tale. (Let’s face it, Grimms’ tales are twisted.)

This is the main reason why I have to read and re-read the original or historical version of fairy tale stories (I’m not talking Disney here). And I have got to get on the classics, too, while I’m at it. I need to be a better book blogger, a better writer, a better reader, a better researcher. I felt so stupid that I didn’t know enough classic stories and that I didn’t do my research.

Other reasons I can think of: 1) the original fairy tales are some of the first horror and/or fantasy stories ever heard of and I can get really twisty ideas from them. Great for writer wannabees like me; and 2) reading and knowing classic novels can help me feign intelligence during discussions. Um, those are all the important reasons I can think of right now. As you can see they’re both valid and completely incorruptible.

So now I’m going to try to read the Grimms’ fairy tales as soon as I finish my current book (I’m reading Other Worlds Than These, by the way! A really awesome anthology of parallel world stories and portal fantasies! More about it soon!), and I’m going to shoot for one classic novel this September (just one porque I went nuts with the blog tours this month). Then starting October I’ll try to alternate between a classic and a non-classic. I’ll also throw in a few fairy or folk tale collections. There are so many!

Sounds like a fabulous I-hope-I-stick-to-it-long-enough plan, yeah? Hah. By the way, I have yet to do that Day 1 task for my creative writing challenge. I was all excited last night, then I felt all “meh” about the fairy tale I initially picked after realizing it was the inspiration for that book I reviewed a while back. I need to pick another fairy tale and finish the damn task! Hah. Hopefully, I’ll do that by end of day today. If I could just stay away from Facebook and Twitter long enough…
So, what are your favorite fairy tales? And any recommendations on which classic novels I start off with? Or I should say, read next because I already started on A Tale of Two Cities a few months ago and I think I’ll get on that first. Anyway, I have tons of classics on my reader so finding one to read shouldn’t be a problem.

Let’s hope I can stick to this plan.