Monday, March 26, 2012

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins - Review

Though I read The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins nearly a year ago, I fell the need (and want) to review it for all you out there who are curious about it, but are afraid to get it.

Winning means fame and fortune.
Losing means certain death.
the Hunger Games have begun...

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.
    Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before - and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

    I first saw this book in a bookstore in Canada. The description was really intriguing to me and I figured I would enjoy it, but I decided to go with a different book and to get this one at another time.
    I ended up getting The Hunger Games for Christmas. (Thank you, Aunty)
    A few months later, I finally read it and was caught up in the story from page one.
    The fact that the story was in first person really helped me to get into the mind of the main character, Katniss Everdeen, hunter and warrior.
    The basic plot of the story is established in the first little bit. There were few surprises. But sometimes that is a good thing. And in The Hunger Games, it was.
    I enjoyed every second of the book and could not put it down, finishing it in a week. Nearly immediately after reading it, I got books two and three, Catching Fire and Mockingjay, with my birthday money.
    All in all, I give this book a Five of five star review and definitely recommend it to anyone in search of a good, adventurous and just plain AWESOME read.

Signing off,

Friday, March 23, 2012

Family Matters

Now, from the title of this post, you're probably guessing that I'm going to write a post on the old television show Family Matters. But I'm not...
I'm watching Super Nanny with my family and it just amazes me how some families are so unappreciative of each other. Forgive me for being so blunt, if you will.
Shows like those really help you to realize how lucky you are to have such a loving family.
There's no particular reason why I posted this, other than to share how I feel, personally, about my family.
I love them, and I know that they love me. Contrary to popular secular belief, family does matter. We need each other. For support, love, encouragement.
So, remember as you go through your day that "family matters".

Signing off,

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Swords of the Six by Scott Appleton - review


"A thousand years after being betrayed by his choice warriors, the dragon prophet sets a plan in motion to bring the traitors to justice. He hatches daughters from eggs with human characteristics; however, their veins flow not with human blood, but the strength of the dragon's. Armed with the traitors' rusted swords, these brave daughters set out to face the first traitor.

Either the traitor will repent, or justice will be served."

Swords of the Six by Scott Appleton is a wondrous tale of sacrifice, obedience and true love.
    I went into this book worried, for the past several books I'd read were slow and, suffice to say, boring. They weren't capturing my interest. Therefore, I entered Swords of the Six cautiously. And I came out of it in awe. I couldn't put it down!
    Appleton created a wonderfully original tale that will completely blow you away. The characters were fantastically developed, the plot perfectly laid out, and the picture was beautifully painted! I could imagine every scene in my mind as though It was happening to me myself.
All in all, I give this book 5 stars out of 5 and I definitely recommend this book to lovers of Christian fantasy.

Signing off,

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Starcrafters Saga - Book 2

I have been working hard on the sequel to TSS book 1 (currently undergoing a round of naming ideas). 
Thus far I have found that writing the second part of the Starcrafters' stories has been great. And, surprisingly, quite easy. 
I believe that the simplicity of writing it is due to the lack of the need of character development (unless new characters are being added).
Up to this point, I have sincerely enjoyed writing the funny, emotional, serious, and cool scenes contained in the longest chapter I've written... chapter one. :)
I do know this was a short post. However, it was on my mind, therefore it is now on my blog. ^_^

Signing off,

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Check out my new blog!

Okay, so this blog is for all you Christian writers out there. If you fit into that category, then come on over!

As for my book, I am over halfway done with the first draft.
I have also written quite a bit more in The Eclipse.

Signing off,

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Editing Tips and Other Writing Tips

    As you can probably tell from the title ^, I am going to be talking about editing. Whether that be editing your manuscripts for a short story, poem, or novel.
    Okay, so, if you've been keeping yourself updated on the status of my novel, which I have yet to decide on a name but is currently titled The Paradox, then you know that I am in the process of editing it. (Bleh!)
    And if you're anything like me, then you HATE editing as well. Yes, I do hate it. It is a tedious process. One that I actually tried to prevent from occurring. At one point during my writing of the manuscript, I actually decided to go back and edit as I wrote, but that doesn't really work. Because for me, at least, things in my book gradually changed.
    Therefore, I was unable to keep from editing. Though, had things remained unchanged, I would've had to go back and edit anyway, for grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure purposes.
    I have actually found that there are more things that I have rewritten than I expected. However, the main story's concept has remained the same. (Don't you worry. I'm not changing things up. ;)
    Anyhoo, back to editing tips. :)
    One important thing to always remember (I got this as a tip myself and it is very helpful) is if you have been trying to make your writing fancy... don't. Such as, if you go "He Pondered", "He suggested", "She surmised", etc... don't. Stick with the He-said She-said complex. It will keep your readers focused on what is going on. Your goal as a writer is to fully immerse them into your story. However, for some writers, using beautiful and graceful prose can put the reader in awe. So, if you plan to be an extreme writer, then, by all means, prose away! ;) (Yes, I know that was dorky)
    Description. Ah, yes. The one thing that has worried me from the start. "Am I being descriptive enough?" Ask yourself that. You don't want to confuse your reader or make them have to return to a certain spot and reread it. That:
1) distracts them from immersion into your story
2) frustrates them because they are having trouble getting the picture
    Your goal as a writer is to paint a picture for your readers.
    As for editing, always remember the story you have written. One problem that I've come across is that in the span of my "writer's blocks" I have forgotten some of what I had integrated into my story. So one thing you might want to do is write down the main points of your story that you CANNOT forget. Also, an even better tip would be to avoid writer's blocks at all costs. :)
    When you're editing keep an eye out for typos or wrong sentence structure. In a single paragraph, try not to use the name of the person whose POV (point of view) you are using more than two or three times. Also, make sure that single paragraphs aren't monstrous. The point of paragraph breaks is to give your reader's eyes a rest. If it is just one long, continuous paragraph, then eventually your reader will either get lost or tired or both. Give 'em a break! The maximum number of lines you should have your paragraph be is seven (7).
    One other thing you want to consider when writing is SHOW don't TELL. You want to "paint a picture" of what is happening, you don't want to just tell them what is happening.
    So, as I digress, I leave you with this: IMMERSE YOUR READER IN YOUR STORY! Make them feel like they are not just watching the plot unfold, but like they are part of the plot.

God bless you as you continue on the Hidden Path,

BTW, here is a great website that you can go to for some more writing tips:

Friday, March 2, 2012

Beyond the Reflection's Edge - by Bryan Davis

    Sixteen-year-old Nathan Shepherd has a great life traveling where the careers of his father, an investigator, and mother, a renowned violinist, take him... Until his parents are found murdered. 
    Left with only a mirror and notes from his father's last case, Nathan goes into hiding at the remote country home of Tony, his father's college buddy, and Tony's teenage daughter, Kelly. The mysterious mirror must be a clue to what happened to his parents, and when images appear in it-people and things that don't exist-Nathan and Kelly painstakingly gather evidence. But the killers want the mirror, too, and danger threatens the teens at every turn. 
(Synopsis taken from the back of the book)

When I started this book by renowned novelist, Bryan Davis, I was really psyched. It was really easy to jump into. The story seemed to just suck you in, and the characters were very likable. But... the plot seemed, to me, to be very confusing. Several times I found myself having to reread sections of the book to try and make sense of what was going on. Needless to say, it took me a while.
However, all in all it was a fantastic book that I really enjoyed. I loved how the main character's morals were continually weaved into the story, showing that there are still kids out there who have virtues. I loved the strength of his non-conformity. The book shows the scars of our past and the hope of our future.
I give it a total of 4/5 stars.
Way to go, Bryan Davis! I can't wait to read book 2!

Signing off,

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Are you a Starcrafter?

Well, if you read the very first post, which you can journey to see here, then you know what a Starcrafter represents.
In my book, a Starcrafter is someone who is blessed by God with great gifts, specifically the ability to lead people to a hope that they would have otherwise never come across.
So I ask you, are you a Starcrafter? Do you use your natural gifts and talents (given to  you by God) to benefit the Kingdom? Do you lead people to the hope that is at the foot of the Cross?
If you do, then you are... a Starcrafter.
If you don't... then it's time to either find out what gifts and talents God has given you, or to start using them to the best of your abilities.
Join the Starcrafters... NOW.

Signing off,