Showing posts from January, 2020

Dystopias aren't just for teens

Time for more book reviews. I finished reading a really good dystopian series just before Christmas - yes, and failed to post reviews. Afterward I loaned it to a friend. Neither I nor the friend are teenagers, and the fact that the protagonists of the Unwind series are teens makes no difference to our enjoyment of the novels. Dystopias aren't just for teens. And dystopian ideas just might make all of us open our eyes and think if we let them in. Our world could become a lot more messed up if we don't take care of it. I read Neal Shusterman's Unwind quite some time ago and loved it. The novel stood on its own perfectly, so I wasn't sure about looking for more. But what I found is a series where each novel adds intriguing depth to the tale, and compels the reader to ask new questions about life's value and meaning. So now there's Unwholly where one character struggles to believe he is human while others' only worth is their body parts; followed by UnSouled ,

Is it time to catch up on some serious faith-and-science reading?

It was Christmas, and I got lots of books to read. I was eager to enjoy them and share the good news of great reads. But I also had (still have) visitors, and Christmas to enjoy, and trips, and conversations, and cats (not mine) and dogs (also not mine), and family, and friends, and catching up on catching up... And time keeps slipping away. But today I shall start posting a few of those book reviews. Since Christmas is only just over for many celebrants, posting some reviews about "faith" books makes a kind of sense. And here are three about the intersection (no--not division) between faith-and-science. They're not enemies. Seriously, they're not enemies. (And one day maybe my own faith-and-science book will also come out, with the same point of view!) First is  Friend of Science Friend of Faith, listening to God in His works and word by Gregg Davidson , a pleasingly scientific, easily understood book that reveals, very convincingly, that faith and science are no

What is is with Threes?

Today I get to welcome Stephen Zimmer back to my blog with another Rayden Valkyrie novel. Hurray! And there's even a chance to win signed copies of the whole trilogy! It's a trilogy I've been reading and following and enjoying... and it got me wondering, what is it about 3s and Trilogies. So I asked Stephen, and here's his reply. Trilogies and the Three-Act Narrative By Stephen Zimmer Many of the great stories have been told in the form of trilogies, whether in book or movie form.  The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars (which became a trilogy of trilogies), and many iconic franchises serve as powerful examples of this approach to storytelling.  My latest release, When Shadows Fall, is also part of a trilogy, completing the storytelling journey that I began with Heart of a Lion and continued with Thunder Horizon.  Looking upon the Dark Sun Dawn Trilogy and thinking about trilogies in general, I think the reason they tend to be very effective methods of st

The most important characters in an author's universe...?

Today I'm delighted to welcome John F Allen to my blog, author of The Best is Yet to Come. Not long ago, I read and enjoyed his Ivory Blaque novel, the God Killers, which if first in a fascinating series. The Best is Yet to Come contains one Ivory Blaque short story, so I wondered, how do authors combine writing series with strong, memorable characters, and then writing short stories... So, over to you John... HOW I COMBINE WRITING A SERIES AND SHORT STORIES I find that depending on the idea surrounding the story I want to tell, determines whether it ends up being a standalone novel, a novella, novel series or a short story. Sometimes the ideas and images which come to me for a project have an overarching goal which begins with a single character and/or event. And when this is the case, a series is my choice to carry the narrative through. For me, another factor in determining whether a story idea will be a series is the character themselves. Some characters are m

Title, character, situation, plot AND... Anybody want to play WAR?

Today I'm delighted to welcome author Tommy B. Smith whose novel offers a curious invitation... Anybody want to play War? So, of course, I had to ask the author... “Which comes first, title, characters, situation, or plot?” And here is his answer... Over to you Tommy! I seldom devise a story’s title prior to writing the story. Occasionally an interesting title may serve as a writing prompt, but by the story’s end, more often that not, I find the original title would no longer suit the story’s course. As to which comes first in regard to title, characters, situation, or plot, to be vague, the answer would depend on the type of story. In the case of my latest novel, Anybody Want to Play WAR? I did not originally confine the story to a specific category, though I understood it must eventually claim one. I have employed different approaches for different stories. In the world of writing, we have informal terms such as plotting and pantsing, which indicate tales w