Monday, April 27, 2015

New Release: On the Altar

Are you enjoying the plethora of posts in the A to Z Challenge? If you haven't already, click over to Untethered Realms to check out the cool book teaser/picture posts that we're doing for A to Z. Find more blogs on the A to Z Challenge site.

On the Altar is finally coming out after a brief delay. The big day is April 28th. On the Altar is currently available for pre-order.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | B&N | Apple | Kobo | MuseItUp

Friday, April 17, 2015

Good Books to Read

Odd and the Frost GiantsRead anything notable lately? Here's a couple books for fans of Norse mythology and the apocalypse. (Can someone really be a fan of the apocalypse?)

Odd and the Frost Giants, by Neil Gaiman is a charming tale about a young boy who teams up with Thor, Odin, and Loki to save Asgard from the frost giants. Odd's father, a master wood carver, dies while on a raid. An accident leaves Odd lame, forced to hobble about with a crutch. Odd's mother remarries, but no one has time for a crippled boy. One year, when spring is unusually late, Odd leaves home for his father's cabin in the wood and there comes across a strange trio of beasts: a bear, a one-eyed eagle, and a fox. Odd uses his wood chopping skills to save the bear. He later learns that the animals are Thor, Odin, and Loki. A frost giant has captured Asgard, turned the gods into animals, and exiled them. Eternally confident, Odd offers to help.

From the Amazon page:
In this inventive, short, yet perfectly formed novel inspired by traditional Norse mythology, Neil Gaiman takes readers on a wild and magical trip to the land of giants and gods and back.

In a village in ancient Norway lives a boy named Odd, and he's had some very bad luck: His father perished in a Viking expedition; a tree fell on and shattered his leg; the endless freezing winter is making villagers dangerously grumpy.

Out in the forest Odd encounters a bear, a fox, and an eagle—three creatures with a strange story to tell.

Now Odd is forced on a stranger journey than he had imagined—a journey to save Asgard, city of the gods, from the Frost Giants who have invaded it.

It's going to take a very special kind of twelve-year-old boy to outwit the Frost Giants, restore peace to the city of gods, and end the long winter.

Someone cheerful and infuriating and clever . . .

Someone just like Odd.
Gaiman tells the story of Odd and the Frost Giants with his usual mix of humor and pathos. Odd uses his wits and ingenuity to prove himself a more clever trickster than Loki. Highly recommended to fantasy readers and anyone with an interest in Norse mythology.

The Girl at the End of the World The Girl at the End of the World, by Richard Levesque is a very compelling story of a young girl's struggle to survive and find trust in post-apocalyptic Los Angeles. Scarlett is an average teenager with an average set of problems until she attends a baseball game with her father and his new wife and kids. A neighboring spectator dies horribly. Fungus-like stalks explode out of his face. The contagion kills within hours and spreads via airborne spores. Scarlett is certain she's going to die and locks herself in her room, hoping to shield her mother and sister from harm. Scarlett's world comes crashing down. Everyone is dying, except Scarlett. By some freak of genetics, she is immune. Scarlett gathers supplies and heads out into a very different world. There must be other survivors she reasons, but can she trust them?

From the Amazon page:
Her fight begins the day the world ends.

Scarlett Fisher is an average California teenager. She likes hanging out with her friends and talking on the phone. She does all right at school, and she's made the best of her parents' divorce. But in one way, she's special: on her fifteenth birthday, a fast-moving plague wipes out everyone she’s ever known, yet somehow it passes her by.

Her family dead, alone in a corpse-strewn metropolis, she has no choice but to survive. She needs food, shelter, a safe place to sleep. She discovers that an ordinary girl is capable of extraordinary things, and that she's more resilient than she imagined. Even so, she wishes more than anything that she could just find another survivor.

Unfortunately for Scarlett, not everyone who survived the plague is looking for companionship. And she’s about to find out just how difficult survival really is.
Levesque paints a terrifying picture of a world gone mad, where life and death survival is a constant concern and the rules of society no longer seem to apply. I don't read many apocalyptic stories so I can't say how this one compares to similar stories, but this compelling tale is hard to put down.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Celebrate The Small Things - 10 April #CTST

It's Friday and time to Celebrate The Small Things (or big things) that happened this week.

I finished the galley edits for On the Altar—another novelette/novella and my first attempt at a contemporary thriller. I signed off on the cover last week so it's all in the hands of the publisher. The publisher's site lists April 21 as the release date. One of my goals for the year is to release five new titles so here's one down, four to go.

Here's the blurb:
When the president’s daughter, Helen, is abducted, special counsel Aaron Atreus offers his friend all the support he can. When the kidnapper demands Aaron’s daughter, Effie, deliver a ransom payment, the crisis becomes deeply personal for Aaron’s family. What’s the kidnapper’s game? Why insist on Effie? There’s no way Aaron will allow his only daughter to walk into such a dangerous situation.

Desperation puts friends at odds, and questions of duty and loyalty threaten to tear Aaron’s family apart. While the policy-makers fight among themselves, the kidnapper waits for the pieces in his sinister game to move into place.

Keep writing and keep hoping. What are you celebrating this week?

Want to join in the fun that is Celebrate The Small Things, sign up here. Thanks to the very talented Lexa Cain for hosting this hop.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Insecure Writer’s Support Group: Post #11

It's the first Wednesday of the month again. Time for another IWSG post.

Oh no. It's April. That means a quarter of the year is gone and I haven't completed any new projects. I have worked on them. I'm making progress, but there not done. At least I'm keeping up with my reading challenge on Goodreads. Write faster. Write faster. It's not that simple. I continue to get bogged down in various stretches of narrative, struggling to figure out interesting ways to move the story forward while working in bits of action, thought, and description. I've been happy with the final result but not so much with the pace.

Taking part in the A to Z Challenge? This is my first year. I'm part of the team at Untethered Realms. You can check out my contributions for K and U as the month progresses.

Until next month, keep writing.