Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Do the Dead Hope?

This last week we lost a valuable and optimistic member of our blogging community, Tina Downey. It left me thinking about death. (Imagine that.)

Have you lost someone dear to you? I've lost several. The first one was my great grandmother when I was 16. She encouraged my budding music talents and losing her was like losing my muse. Several years later I lost my father, and hero, to cancer. The next year I lost a brother--the happiest person I've ever known.


Death to me is very personal, and it's also a symbol of hope.

Hope you ask?

Yes, hope. I believe in an afterlife. I believe I will be reunited with my loved ones, and although I miss them frequently, the pain is bearable because I trust in that distant sunrise when I'll see their faces again and hug the stuffing out of them.

Some people might call that hope crazy. How can I believe what I can't see? Well, because I trust what I feel. I believe those we love who've moved on to the other side are watching over us. I've felt them, encouraging me along during the dark corridors of my life, and how can I mistake the love and steady assurances of my father? We are far less alone than we believe.

Death is sad. It's hard to be parted physically, but it is an opportunity to embrace the life-sustaining power of hope.



Enough of deep thoughts, eh? Ready to guess the lie and win a book? 

Last week, Mary Pax shared her RIFTERS series with us, along with two truths and one lie. Those who guessed the lie correctly were entered into a random drawing for the chance to win her ebooks 

Mary's game: 

1. Mary stood behind Kurt Vonnegut once in line at a newstand. They spoke for hours in the gardens of Dag Hammerskjold smoking Shermans. 
2. She went on a ghost hunt in the Caribbean. On Nevis there’s a tale about a woeful bride who had a fateful wedding day.
3. On the first date with her husband unit, she hit his car. She was pretty sure there’d be no second date. Fooled her! 
And the lie is:

#1. It's true, Mary stood behind Kurt Vonnegut once and she did smoke once upon a time and started smoking the same cigarettes he did, but she was too chicken to talk to him

Way to guess those of you who got it right! And the winner is:

...DRUM ROLL...


Congrats Lynda! 

And now to today's feature:

Allison O'Malley's plan is to go to grad school so she can get a good job and take care of her schizophrenic mother. She has carefully closed herself off from everything else, including a relationship with Ethan, who she's been in love with for as long as she can remember.

What is definitely not part of the plan is the return of her long-lost father, who claims he can bring Allison's mother back from the dark place her mind has gone. Allison doesn't trust her father, so why would she believe his fairy tale about a long forgotten Irish people, the Tuatha de Danaan? But truths have a way of revealing themselves. Secrets will eventually surface. And Allison must learn to set aside her plan and work with her father if there is even a small chance it could restore her mother's sanity.


Get your copy HERE.
Laura Howard lives in New Hampshire with her husband and four children. Her obsession with books began at the age of 6 when she got her first library card. Nancy Drew, Sweet Valley High and other girly novels were routinely devoured in single sittings. Books took a backseat to diapers when she had her first child. It wasn't until the release of a little novel called Twilight, 8 years later, that she rediscovered her love of fiction. Soon after, her own characters began to make themselves known.

You might stumble across Laura eating gooey cream cheese on an onion bagel in her dining room, although she likes just about any cheese. 

Laura gave me two truths and one lie to test your "lie detector" skills. Those who figure out the lie will go into my magic hat for the chance to win her eBook. How awesome is that?

You have until Tuesday, September 2, at 1 p.m. EDT to guess--and be sure to come back for the answer on September 3rd.

TRUTH OR LIE

1. Laura's favorite number is 9. 
2. She's the mother of two sets of twins.
3. All four of her kids names end with the letter "n."
Which is the lie? What do you believe about death? Have you lost a close loved one? Do you love fairy stories? 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Angry with Authors

I read a book this last weekend that I really enjoyed, until the last line.

Ug.

There was so much conflict, so much struggle, so much longing and hope for something better. There were epic battles, HUGE sacrifices, and pain... And all of that would have been worth it, except for that darn last line.

I think about that sometimes, about life and goals and how we strive and hope for an ultimate outcome. We may even fight and sacrifice for that outcome, but it all comes down to that last line. Do we eventually give up? Do we hold strong until the very end?

Source
POST AMENDED: At the request of several readers, I will share that the last line was a cliff hanger. Yes, cliffhanger. I know some of us feel that's okay, and sometimes it is...but not in the very last sentence of the book. You have to give the reader some warning. And seriously, if you're going to kill half (or more) of the cast to accomplish something, don't leave your readers feeling like all the victory was stolen by the last line. Yes, I said STOLEN. *sigh* Rant over. 



Ready to guess the lie and win a book? 

Last week, Jay Noel shared SHADOW WARRIOR with us, along with two truths and one lie. Those who guessed the lie correctly were entered into a random drawing for the chance to win one of his ebooks 

Jay's game: 

1. Jay had a near-death experience in his 20's.
2. His biggest fear is being poked in the eye.
3. He went skydiving on his 40th birthday. 
And the lie is:

#3. Jay did not go skydiving for his 40th birthday. 

Way to guess those of you who got it right! And the winner is:

...DRUM ROLL...


Congrats Diane! 

And now to today's feature:

A junction between the worlds erupts.

The Gold Rush trickles to a fool’s quest and a string of stagecoach heists. In 1888, Earl Blacke makes a new start to become a better man. He escapes into the mountains, heading north. In the wilds of Oregon, a rift inside an ancient volcano opens, sending him into the future, into the present day. It also shaves thirty years off his age, thirty years to live over and atone for what he’s done.

Starting over is hard to do. In current day New York City, Daelin Long’s dream job at a publishing house goes the way of the dinosaurs her sister chases. With no money and nowhere else to go, Daelin accepts the librarian position in her sister’s dinky town in the middle of Oregon. Nestled inside ancient volcanic peaks, the town of Settler holds onto many secrets. Residents roam the streets with weirdly fashioned devices, and odd lights pulse in the night skies. People whisper of a phantom outlaw and start dying, murdered and missing their heads. Worse, Daelin’s sister is missing, and Daelin doesn’t know who to trust.

Earl knows more than he’s saying. He shares a notorious history with the phantom, one he’ll see remains buried. Keeping Daelin’s sister’s secrets is his only chance at redemption, and the only way to keep this world safe.
MARY PAX ~ M. Pax is author of the series, The Backworlds, The Rifters, and has other novels and several short stories published. Fantasy, science fiction, and the weird beckons to her, and she blames Oregon for that, a source of endless inspiration. She docents at Pine Mountain Observatory in the summers, teaching the public about the stars and the galaxy. A Bachelors of Science in Journalism, she had former lives in marketing and television before settling down to write. 

You might stumble across Mary while on a picnic out in the wilds of Oregon or at a lunch gathering with her writer gal pals, munching on brie.

Mary gave me two truths and one lie to test your "lie detector" skills. Those who figure out the lie will go into my magic hat for the chance to win BOTH eBook's: The Rifters, and The Initiate--before release. How awesome is that?

You have until Tuesday, August 26th, at 1 p.m. EDT to guess--and be sure to come back for the answer on August 27th.

TRUTH OR LIE

1. Mary stood behind Kurt Vonnegut once in line at a newstand. They spoke for hours in the gardens of Dag Hammerskjold smoking Shermans. 
2. She went on a ghost hunt in the Caribbean. On Nevis there’s a tale about a woeful bride who had a fateful wedding day.
3. On the first date with her husband unit, she hit his car. She was pretty sure there’d be no second date. Fooled her!
Which is the lie? Do you have a secret goal you're pushing toward? Have you ever given up on something and then wished you hadn't? What do you think of time rifts?