Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Future of Reviews

Hey, all! As most of you know, I've moved my blog to Wordpress (www.shatteringthedarkness.wordpress.com).
    Now, I'm here to inform you that all of my book reviews will be moving to Goodreads!
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6917973.Brian_A_McBride
    So, head on over and follow my Goodreads author page. Or add me as a friend if you feel special! ;)

-Brian

Friday, October 25, 2013

"Allegiant" by Veronica Roth - A Book Review

One choice will define you.
What if your whole world was a lie?
What if a single revelation—like a single choice—changed everything?
What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected?

    The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.
    But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.


    T_T This book killed me. I am dead. I am crushed. I am pulverized. I... honestly don't know what to say.
    Allegiant is the explosive conclusion to The Divergent Trilogy by Veronica Roth. I loved it. And in the end I hated what the author did to me. I want to scream "NOOOOO!!! You can't do this!"
    When it arrived the day it was released, I was beyond excited. I immediately began reading it. Knowing it was the final book, I chose to take my time. I didn't rush it. The beginning started out pretty slow and gradual, as this book takes place a week or so after the events of book two.
    But about 10 chapters in, it was going at a steady pace and I was getting answers. A third of the way in, my mind was blown. I had a hard time contemplating everything I was learning about the world of Divergent.
    Allegiant is told from both the perspectives of Tris and Four (also shipped as Fourtris). I was glad for the chance to get inside Four's head. But I also got irritated with him from time to time.
    Eventually he and Tris define their relationship and take it to the next level.
    The ending though... *choke* I am so... crushed...
    Violence - Mild. Violence is not gratuitous.
    Sexy stuff - Lots of kissing and sex is implied.
    Language - A few uses of the s-word, "d*mn", "h*ll", and cr*p".
    Scary Scenes - Mild.

    All in all, this conclusion was in fact explosive. In more ways than one, as it both imploded my heart, and blew me away.
    What did you think of the finale?

5 of 5 stars!

God bless,
Brian

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

New blog!

Hey, guys!
   So, I'm slowly moving my blog over to Wordpress and have already posted a couple of times. This blog will remain active for a little while longer, and I may continue posting book reviews here, rather than on my new blog.
    My Wordpress is going to be a more of a personal/writing blog than book reviews.
    You can check it out here!

    Let me know what you think! :)

Sunday, September 15, 2013

"Shatter Me" by Tahereh Mafi - A Book Review

*SPOILERS ARE CONTAINED WITHIN THIS REVIEW*

No one knows why Juliette's touch is fatal, but the Reestablishment has plans for her. Plans to use her as a weapon. But Juliette has plans of her own. After a lifetime without freedom, she's finally discovering a strength to fight back for the very first time - and to find a future with the one boy she thought she'd lost forever.

    Okay, so... I'd LOVE to rant about this book (how good it was, how bad it was) But I can't.
    Because this book was neither AMAZING, nor was it horrible.
    There is only one word to describe it perfectly...
    Meh.
    This book was meh.
    That's not to say that I didn't find it an enjoyable read. There is just so much about it that is... meh.
    One thing that I found refreshing was the unique layout of the interior. The manuscript showed Juliette's "non-thoughts" in a sort of "diary-esque" way.
    First, I'll explain what I enjoyed about Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi:

    - the plot -
    I always love a good dystopian storyline. And I mean LOVE. Shatter Me had the exact kind of thing I was looking for: 1. A dystopic world where a dictatorial government has taken over, but among the chaos a group of rebels and misfits have been growing, nearly ready for war. 2. Freakish powers. Who doesn't love a good story about a girl who is, herself, an unexplained phenomena? These powers are a story in and of themselves.
   
    - the characters -
    1. Juliette was an easy character to sympathize (or is it empathize?) with. She's been mentally, physically, and emotionally scarred by those she thought loved her. And she never fought back. She always thought she deserved it. Juliette constantly turns the other cheek. And I love that about her. 2. Adam. I didn't expect such a large part of the story to be about Juliette's and Adam's relationship, but that seemed to be a large focus point of this entire book. I'm not against it, though. The storyline is the storyline. *shrugs*. Adam is a likeable character. He is respectful of Juliette and cares for her deeply. He fights for those he cares about and is tender with his younger brother. Which leads me to the third character. 3. James is immediately likeable. He is a flurry of emotion. Excitement over his brother's return. Suspicion of Juliette's sudden appearance into his and his brother's lives. I don't know that anybody could dislike him. :) 4. Warner. Okay, I don't get Warner. He's just complicated. I can tell he is conflicted and power-hungry. But what is up with his obsession for Juliette?

    Okay, now things I didn't particularly like...

    - the plot -
    Romance centered, simple. Nothing much to say about it. :P It's enjoyable, though.

    - the characters -
    Juliette is constantly wallowing in self-pity until Adam comes along and she finds him "perfectly sculpted" and swoon-worthy. At first, their relationship seems impossibly instant and based entirely off of lust. And this doesn't change much, but once the reader discovers their pasts, their relationship because somewhat understandable. And Warner is obnoxiously arrogant and won't listen to Juliette, whom he supposedly loves.

    Sexual Stuff - Passionate kissing; Juliette's and Adam's relationship is lustful, to say the least. Though, Adam is respectful of Juliette's boundaries, even though she isn't.
    Language - Everything except the f-word.
    Violence - Mild; Characters are shot and beaten.
    Scary Images - Juliette and a toddler are locked in a room (for an experiment) where blades and spikes just out of the walls.

    All in all, this book was enjoyable, but I can't say that I enjoyed every minute of it. Would I recommend it? Meh.

3.5 of 5 stars.

Monday, September 2, 2013

"In the After" by Demitria Lunetta - A Book Review

In what seems like an instant, Amy Harris' life is changed forever. They arrive and quickly begin killing off humanity one by one. No one knows how They got here - and even worse, no one knows how to stop Them.
    Marooned in a high-security house, Amy manages to stay alive - and even rescues "Baby", a toddler she finds in an abandoned supermarket. For years they escape death, forging a bond as strong as sisters, until they are finally rescued and taken to New Hope, a colony of survivors living on a government research compound.
    Staying in New Hope will come with a cost...

    Ermawherd! (dorky, I know, but I don't say "oh my God" ;P) Guys! Seriously. This book was... @_@
    *composes himself* *ahem*
    In the After by Demitria Lunetta is a book that I could NOT put down. I know this, because I tried time and again to put it down and go watch Doctor Who with my siblings. Not-so-unfortunately, this book had me under its spell.
    In the After is described by Amazon.com as a page-turner. This could not be more true. I read this book in less than a day. I'd say I read it all in one sitting, but that's not true because I was "sitting" all over the house, moving from place to place while reading this amazing, incredible, epic book.
    I'm a huge fan of dystopian fiction. The Hunger Games, Divergent, The Razorland Series, etc...
    And in the end, this book shattered my feels into a million pieces...

The Plot:
    Though not entirely original, the plot was unique in its own ways. I've not read The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey, but I've heard that he has also used the idea of "zombie-aliens" and that it compares closely with In the After. This doesn't really matter to me. As long as the story is good, I am easy to please. ^_^
    I love stories in which the character has to learn to survive on his/her own in a shattered world. And this book hit the spot!

The Characters:
    Ermawherd! The characters were amazing! Amy, Baby, Rice. ^_^
    Baby - a mysterious toddler found in the After who immediately becomes attached to Amy, and Amy to her. The cutest character of the book, really. I love Baby. :D
    Amy - A tortured soul, a now 17-year-old girl who has learned to cope with the deaths of all her closest friends and her parents, as well as learning how to survive in the After, a name she gives everything after the aliens came.
    Rice - Don't know much about him yet, but at least his and Amy's relationship isn't insta-love. ;)

The Cover:
    I'm not going to lie. This cover is so beautiful. @_@ It's one of the best I've seen. It's striking! I could give the book an extra star just for the cover... but I won't. :P

Sexual Stuff - A character forces himself on another character. Kissing.
Language - Mild language every now and then. Mostly "h*ll" and "cr*p", but a few uses of other words such as "d*mn". The s-word is used approximately two times.
Violence - This book is pretty violent. It is described (not graphically) that They (later known as the Floraes) eat their victims alive. This book is filled plenty with death, but it the gore is not gratuitous.
Scary "Images" - Plenty of potentially scary scenes for younger readers. Definitely a PG-13 book.


5 of 5 stars!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I can't tell you all how much I loved this book. Seriously, guys... :D
You can purchase it here!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Book Cover of the Week #11

I'm just going to start posting these whenever I find a cover worth sharing. XP Because I can't seem to stick with this whole "of the week" thing.


This weeks beautiful-epic-fantastic-overthetop cover is....



...
...

...

...

...



...


In the After by Demitria Lunetta

I just ordered this book the other day and am SUPER excited to read it! Review to come!

Monday, August 26, 2013

I Am Divergent

    Okay, so I've already read Divergent and Insurgent last summer, but I'm rereading them in preparation for the finale, Allegiant. (Author = Veronica Roth) I will be pre-ordering the final book. And I can NOT wait until it comes out!
    But as I read this series again, and as I write my many, MANY WIPs, I come to the realization that... I. AM. DIVERGENT.
    In this series, every person must choose which personality they identify themselves with.
    Here's the problem.
    I cannot choose.
    In some way or another...
    I am each of these traits: selfless, brave, honest, peaceful, intelligent. I could be Erudite, Dauntless, Candor, Amity, Abnegation.
    But I am Divergent.
    In a way, this also identifies with my life as an author.
    I cannot identify myself with just one genre or style of writing. The many worlds I've created, each of them must be unique in their diversity.
    Each of them is Divergent.
    As their creator...
    I am Divergent.
    And so... every author likely comes to this crossroads: they can choose just one genre in which to write, one path on which to go.
    Or they can explore and master each genre, each style.
    It is nearly impossible for me and my kind (writers) to choose just one personality, just one genre.
    I am Divergent.
    We are Divergent.
    One choice will transform us...
    or it can destroy us...


Saturday, August 10, 2013

GIVEAWAY of Paradox!

Hey, all! Guess what?! I've been showcased on the Notebook Sisters blog and they are hosting a giveaway of Paradox, my debut novel! Check it out here! Be sure to read all THREE author interviews in the post. For extra entries, you can add my book to your to-read shelf on Goodreads, follow my blog, or my Facebook author page!
    I am really honored to be showcased among a pool of authors on the Notebook Sisters blog. There are already more than 500 entries in the giveaway with 12 days left! You'd better hurry up and get your entries in!
    Total, there are 56 possible entries, so head on over! You have a pretty big chance of winning at least SOMETHING there!

    What are the prizes???

  •     An e-copy of A Stretch of Loyalty (INT) by Jack Lewis Baillot
  •     An e-copy of Haphazardly Implausible (INT) by Jack Lewis Baillot
  •     2 HARDCOPIES of The Soldier's Cross (USA) by Abigail Hartman
  •     1 HARDCOPY of Paradox (USA) by Brian McBride
There are SO many awesome prizes you can win so make sure you have your name in the hat!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Updates on Life and Things and Stuff

Hey, all! Yeah, I know I've been neglecting this blog, but I have not stopped blogging. As a major update, I'd like to let you all know that I have officially begun to co-author a blog YA Writers Alumni (YAWA for short) with five other highschool graduates who write. YAWA is a community for YA Writers who have graduated highschool. A lot of us are previous members of Go Teen Writers (GTW) Be sure to check out the Facebook group.
    In writing news, my book sales of begun to slow down, but have remained at a decent pace. However, I hope to continue selling books. If you haven't bought yourself a copy, be sure to check it out here!
    I have also taken a break on writing book three of The Starcrafters' Saga, to begin my next series, a dystopian titled The CHAOS Trilogy. Below, I have generously decided to share some concept art.





Book One

Book Two

Book Three

Concept Design

Will YOU join the Chaotics in this fight to regain humanity? To discover your place in a broken world, where those wrought with the disease known as CHAOS must break the prison their very blood has bound them in.
    I hope that The Chaos Trilogy is my debut into the traditional market and book one is underway.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Visitor – Character Merge, featuring S.J. Aisling’s Nissa and Brian McBride’s characters. CONTEST ENTRY

I am participating in a contest over at S.J. Aisling's Blog to win a free commission. The artist's work is incredible and I am really hoping to win! :D This is my submission, a scene between one of S.J.'s characters (Nissa) and my own characters. Enjoy!


The Visitor – Character Merge, featuring S.J. Aisling’s Nissa and Brian McBride’s characters.

    David walked in and sat down on the chair. He wasn’t thrilled about being forced into this luncheon with the new visitor from Earth. He did not want to be reminded of his past… Yet, Alicia, Jake, and Hannah, had all voted that they would meet this mysterious stranger.
    The door opened with a creak and in walked his three co-rulers; Jake, Hannah, and Alicia.
    “I really wish that we didn’t have to do this…” David said with a scowl.
    Alicia rolled her eyes. “Come on, Davi. This is someone from Earth. She could know things about our parents. Don’t tell me you don’t care about our past.” Alicia stared at David as she sat done, waited for an answer.
    “It is not that I don’t care… It’s just… I don’t want to get my hopes up, only to have them shattered. It isn’t fair to me, and it isn’t fair to you. We need to move on.”
    No one spoke for a second that seemed to span minutes.
    “I know… but… I can’t…” Alicia furrowed her eyebrows. “Let’s just, talk to this strange woman and find out what we can.”
    David sighed, defeated. The door opened and a strange woman, her fiery red hair flowing in curls down her shoulders, stepped inside the room. She wore strange clothing that reminded him of the garments that the Marvel comic book characters wore. Who was this woman?
    “Hello, I’m Nissa, now tell me… how did I get here?” The strangely dressed woman attempted to hide the fear lacing her words. She held a white piece of clothing in her hand. For a moment, David thought that it might have been a mask, but he shrugged and left it alone.
    “Hello, Nissa, I am Alicia, queen of Talora, capital of Aellya, of the planet Paragon–”
    “Please,” Nissa held up a hand, “enough of the formalities. Just answer my questions.”
    The four rulers exchanged glances, Alicia momentarily stunned by Nissa’s interruption.
    “We were… hoping you could tell us. We don’t know why you’re here,” Jake said, resting an arm on the table.
    “Please, have a seat.” Hannah gestured to the last remaining chair that was set up around the conference table.
    “Where am I?” Nissa asked.
    “You are in the city of Talora, on the planet Paragon.”
    “Look, Nissa,” David said, leaning forward. “We know what you’re going through, and we believe we can help. We have been in the same situation as you… in the past.” David winced slightly, but recovered quickly.
    “You were in the middle of some important business when you were suddenly yanked from your world through cascading darkness, where you then woke up in a strange forest, and were then promptly surrounded by barbaric Neanderthals who tried to turn you into a steak?” Nissa’s words came out in rapid succession.
    None spoke for a moment. “Yes,” Jake finally said, breaking the silence, and turning Nissa’s burning glare toward him.
    She cocked an eyebrow at him. “Look, I just want to get home. Will you help me?”
    “There is something that we could do, but it requires intense heat.”
    “Well,” Nissa said, her lips pursed, “it’s a good thing I’m Conductive.”

    The five surrounded the object, mounted on a pedestal. The stone’s smooth surface shimmered and glowed. The pedestal was set up in front of an archway, baroque figures adorning its bronze surface.
    “Tell us,” David turned to face Nissa, skepticism clear on his face. “What is a Conductive?”
    “Every person is a conductor of static electricity. Have you ever slid your feet across a carpet, only to shock yourself on the doorknob? Well, it’s like that, only… enhanced.” She chose her words carefully.
    “Ah,” Jake said. “Well, I can’t really produce heat, so I’ll have to sit this one out. Can you, Nissa?” Jake asked.
    The foreign girl nodded, her hair bouncing, a strand falling front of her face. She blew it away. With a snap of her fingers, her hand sparked orange-blue flame. She smiled at them.
    “Okay,” Hannah and David said in unison. They glanced at each other, then Hannah continued, “Let’s give it a go. She lifted her hands and faced her palms toward the smooth, white, brilliant stone. She closed her eyes, her hands began to glow whitefire. The same radiant white light spilled from under her eyelids, like tears formed from energy. Her entire body began to glow brilliantly with the whitefire.
    David closed his eyes, his hands burst to flame.
    When they were all glowing brilliantly, emanating their own individual flame, the stone began to glow brighter and brighter.
    Finally, with a pop, a beam of light burst from the stone and shot toward the archway. The beam hit the face carved at the top of the archway. The small, bronze face’s eyes began to glow with the light. Like blood flowing through veins, the light began to trace the indents of the archway.
    Soon, a shimmering pool formed in the center of the archway. The three’s light faded and they turned to face the portal.
    “Well, I guess this is it,” Nissa said with a satisfied sigh.
    David nodded and Alicia stepped in front of Nissa just as she began to make her way toward the portal. “Please, could you… could you do me a favor?”
    David groaned. “Alicia, please… don’t.”
    Alicia ignored him.
    “Why don’t you come back with me?” Nissa asked, ready to get back to her own world.
    The girl shook her head. “I cannot. It takes three to power the portal, and only one person may go through at any given time. Besides, this is my home now.”
    Nissa frowned. “Very well. What is it you need me to do?”
    “Could you get a message to my parents? Just… just tell them that we’re okay, that we’re happy.”
    “I will, don’t worry.”
    Alicia told Nissa her parents’ last known address.
    Nissa nodded and turned to the portal. With a wave, she stepped through. The portal crackled and faded.
    Alicia sighed, turned to David.
    David nodded. “Home,” he said.

    With a smile, she returned, “Home.”

Friday, July 5, 2013

"Monster" by Mirriam Neal - A Book Review

The year is 2053, and the world is recovering from Morbus, a plague that swept across the globe, destroying millions of lives. Eva Stewart is a promising young WorldCure scientist assigned to a facility in Alaska where she is made a Handler and given her own Subject for research and experimentation. What she believes to be a step up in her career becomes a nightmare when she discovers writing on her Subject's cell wall: I STILL HAVE A SOUL.
    Soon, Eva is drawn into a horrific plot kept quiet by WorldCure and as everything she knew collapses around her, she must discover the truth behind her Subject, her beliefs, and herself.

Wow. Just... wow! I cannot remember the last time a book was so good that it shattered me emotionally. I am not even exaggerating. This book brought every emotion you could possibly think of; love, sadness, anguish, hatred, rage, sorrow, joy, fear, and still more!
    I don't know how I can even write an actual review when this book is so far beyond words! Miss Neal did an INCREDIBLE job capturing the reader. She brought me in from the beginning and immediately cause me to sympathize with Mir's horrible anguish from the very beginning. Never have a hated a villain so much! I am still in awe of Miss Neal's incredible ability to weave everything together. This book is a dystopian thriller with romance, action, intrigue, danger, and faith. She wove the message of humanity in so well, all while keeping with the thrilling theme of what makes one human.
    This book confronts issues of humanity. It forces the reader to ask themselves what qualifies a person as being human. It confronts issues of abortion, prejudice, discrimination, and experimentation on live subjects perfectly!
    Well, now that I'm done (I think) raving about Monster, I guess I'll delve more into the broader aspects. *sigh*

    Sexual Content - it is discussed about breeding between Subjects; affairs are mentioned, two people kiss which brings the question of physical/emotional boundaries. All in all, there is little to no sexual content.
    Language - None.
    Violence - Mild; A subject has lapses of violence, sometimes discussed in detail.
    Scary Images - This book can be quite intense at times... and I love it!

Now that the review part is over, I just want to say one more thing before I reveal the official rating of this book (even though it is deserving of so much more): THIS BOOK IS AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!! BUY IT!!!!!! READ IT!!!!!!!! *composes himself* Okay, I'm done.

5 of 5 stars!!!!!! (Really, though it's 100/5!)

Monday, July 1, 2013

MY BOOK HAS ARRIVED! #reasonstosmile

It's a weird thing, holding your own hot-off-the-presses, published novel in your hands, staring at its cover with a huge grin, skimming the pages, all while whispering hoarsely... "Myyyy precioussss..."
    Yes, Smeagol likes...
    And, yes, I have pictures! Of the receipt and packaging too! ;) Sorry about the bad resolution...






Isn't it beautiful??? Well? Isn't it?!

"Today is an historic day..." and I can't stop smiling!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Bloglovin'!

<a href="http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/6379479/?claim=wsfhnszv3wk">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

"Paradox" is PUBLISHED!!!

My book, Paradox is finally published! You can by it from Amazon, or, if you have an account with them, directly from the publisher Outskirts Press!


You can buy my book here!!!

God bless,
Brian

Friday, June 21, 2013

Marketing Banner!

Now that I have my senior pictures back I have finally been able to make an official business card/postcard design for marketing! I've shared it below. Feel free to post it anywhere on the internet so long as you link it back to me, my Facebook author page, or Twitter feed!


God bless,
Brian

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Some of My Favorite Blogs

I thought that today I'd share with you guys some of my favorite blogs... EVER! So I'll be all neat and organized and make a list for you!

1. Thoughts of a Shieldmaiden {Wishful Thinking} - by Mirriam Neal ~ ToaS{WT} is a unique blog where every post is lively and enjoyable... also, Mirriam is a published author, so... yeah.

2. Teenage Writer - by Jake Buller ~ TW is one of my go-to blogs for writing tips, all of which have helped me in some way or another. Plus, Jake is also a published author...

3. Get it Write Tonight Blog - by S. Alex Martin ~ GWTB is one of my absolute favorite "writing tips" blog; Every tip comes from Martin's years of experience as an author.

4. Go Teen Writers - by Jill Williamson and Stephanie Morrill - written by very experienced authors who have  had multiple books published, GTW is one of the best writing communities out there.

So, yeah, these are some of the blogs that I frequent and enjoy to the fullest extent. You should check them out!

God bless,
Brian

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

What Is Dating For?

What is dating for, anyway? Why do so many teens and even tweens concern themselves with relationships?
    Recently, a friend of mine's boyfriend broke up with her. I can't even begin to describe to you how brokenhearted she was... Seeing her go through that made me ask myself this question: "What is dating for?"
    I myself have never dated. Nor do I intend to while I am still too young to even think about marriage. To me, dating is something that should be done when one is making a serious commitment in finding their lifelong soul-mate. So why do teens/tweens fuss over having boyfriends and girlfriends when they should just be enjoying what little time they have left just being their age? It seems a little in vain to me. What are the chances that their childhood boyfriends/girlfriends are going to be the ones they're going to marry? Especially when they're dating people who do not hold the same beliefs as them...
    Dating someone who believes differently than you is just asking for trouble.
    Dating when you're so young is a byproduct of hormones, not love. Research says that the human mind is actually not fully mature until the body has reached its 22nd year. Someone so young cannot possibly know what true love is. What they feel is hormonal attraction.
    Now, I don't pretend to know everything about dating and love and all that... but I do know what I have been trained up and taught in, what the Bible says, what God says, what my parents say, and what I know in my heart is true.
    Also, why do teens not listen to those who have been placed in authority over them: pastors, parents, teachers? Why do they decide that they know better and should be able to date whoever they want? After all, they are wise and they do know what true love is, right?
    What is dating for? Well, I think that it's the last step you take before you decide that someone is the one with whom you will spend the rest of your life. Teens/tweens can't marry.
    Why date?

------------------------
Well, thanks for listening to my rambling and thoughts... Feel free to comment back!

God bless,
Brian

"MONSTER" BY MIRRIAM NEAL - BOOK RELEASE!

Last Saturday, June 15th, a book that I have been anxiously awaiting finally released to us, the public! First, I want to show you its BEAUTIFUL cover!

...............


...............


!!!!!!!!!!!!


A little bit about the book -
    The year is 2053, and the world is recovering from Morbus, a plague that swept across the globe, destroying millions of lives. Eva Stewart is a promising young WorldCure scientist assigned to a facility in Alaska where she is made a Handler and given her own Subject for research and experimentation. What she believes to be a step up in her career becomes a nightmare when she discovers writing on her Subject's cell wall: I STILL HAVE A SOUL...
    Soon Eva is drawn into a horrific plot kept quiet by WorldCure and as everything she knew collapses around her, she must discover the truth behind her Subject, her beliefs, and herself.

    Does this not sound like epic-ness in paperback format?

About the author -
Mirriam Neal has been writing seriously since she was thirteen, although "seriously" might be taking it a bit far. She loves unique people, unique books, unique music, and plans to continue writing a wide variety of books for the rest of her life. (Taken from the back of the book)

Where you can find said author - 
Facebook - go here!
Goodreads - go here!
Amazon - go here!
Blog - go here!

Monster  by the FANTASTIC Mirriam Neal is NOW AVAILABLE! So go to Amazon (link posted above ^ ) and check it out! I've already got my copy and am definitely starting it soon!

Adios, amigos!
Brian

Thursday, June 13, 2013

"Paradox" COVER REVEAL!!!

Hey all, I want to share with you the official cover for my soon-to-be-published fantasy novel, Paradox!

here...

...

...

it...

...

...

is!!!


!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Love it? I do! Whaddya think?

God bless,
Brian

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

OFFICIAL "PARADOX" COVER REVEAL DATE!

Hey all! June 13, 2013 will be the OFFICIAL REVEAL of the final COVER of my book (coming soon)!!! So check in tomorrow to see Paradox's face!!!

You can tune in here, or on my Facebook author page!

Hope to see you all there!

God bless,
Brian

Thursday, June 6, 2013

5 Ways to Add In-depth Description to Your Story!



Hello! Today I want to share with you some helpful ways you can add more in-depth description to your writing, whether it be short stories, novels, or novellas.
    I don't know how often I will post these "writing tips" posts, but I'll try to do them as often as I can. These posts will usually be things that I've learned myself on my journey through writing two novels (my first one I chucked years ago) and getting one published. So bear with me...
    

#1 - Don't Be Simple - Be Complex.

    One thing I've noticed about writing is that you can't get by with "simple-minded" writing. If you want people to be captured by your story, you need to enhance them with beautiful, fluid prose.
    Don't try to dumb down your writing in hopes that even the youngest reader will understand what you mean. Now, I'm not saying you should go grab a dictionary, find the most complicated word and toss it into your manuscript. The point is to make your writing so fluid that the main thing the reader focuses on is the story itself. You don't want your reader to be distracted by how simple and nondescript that word, phrase, or sentence is. However, at the same time you don't want them to have to grab a dictionary and look up a big, complicated word because they have no idea what it means, nor do they know what you are trying to say.
    Below are some examples of simple-minded writing as opposed to writing with stronger prose:
    "Jack walked into the room and sat down on the chair. He picked up the remote and pressed the button that pointed up." (simple-minded)
    "Jack strolled into the room and plopped down onto the recliner. He grabbed the remote and began to flip through the channels." (stronger prose)
    See what I mean? Stronger prose makes reading much more pleasurable.


#2 - Consult a Dictionary Every Now and Then.

    I know I said above that you shouldn't try to find the most complicated word in the dictionary, but that doesn't mean you should avoid dictionaries like the plague. One thing I like to do is if I find a really descriptive word that conjures an image in my mind as I'm going about my day, I tell myself that I am going to use that word. I've based entire scenes off of one descriptive word or phrase before.
    If you use Microsoft Word, then you likely have the built in dictionary application (right click on a word, select "look up").
    Another thing I like to do is: if I find a word to be too boring or nondescript I will try to find a better synonym for that word.
    Depending on how you use one, a dictionary can either be a tool to help build your writing to its highest peak, or it can be a weapon that will eventually cause your story to crumble.


#3 - Paint a Picture - Show, Don't Tell.

    Now, I'm not saying you should go to the art store and buy a bunch of painting supplies (though, yes, art helps). I'm talking about painting the picture that you want your readers to see in their mind's eye when they read the manuscript to which you've dedicated so much of your time.
    People read stories because they want to escape to another world; but in order to do that, they need to be able to clearly envision the story world. It isn't enough to tell, you have to show. Yes, I realize that saying has been floating all over the interweb, but it's true.
    The point of writing is so that you can invite others into a world you've created so that they can share in the enjoyment. However, what if you are the only who can picture it because you aren't writing descriptively enough? You don't want a bunch of different people guessing things in different ways because you didn't paint a picture for them. Yes, people are going to get their own ideas about how things are in your story because of the way their minds have received it. But you want to be able to control the parameters. Don't let your story be based on the guesses of the readers, create a firm foundation and paint a pretty picture that will draw more and more readers in. That's what we all want, isn't it? A broad range of dedicated readers?
    Here are the same examples I used earlier highlighted again:
   "Jack walked into the room and sat down on the chair. He picked up the remote and pressed the button that pointed up." (A broad description, simple, nothing that reader will take from the book with that "wow!" feeling)
   "Jack strolled into the room and plopped down onto the recliner. He grabbed the remote and began to flip through the channels." (A picture painted for the reader, so that the reader can envision the scene clearly)
    Another picture you want to paint for your readers is your characters' emotions. You want your readers to feel like they really know the characters. You want to open a door that allows the reader to step inside your character's shoes.
    Examples:
    "Amy cried. Her brother had died and she was sad." (Boring! This sentence does nothing to invite the reader into your characters' lives.
    "Amy sobbed, tears flowing down her face in pained abandon. She wept over the memory of the one she had lost; her brother, the one person she could count on, the one person who truly cared about her. What was she to do without him?" (There, now isn't that better? It was almost painful reading the first sentence, wasn't it?)


#4 - Provide a Firm Foundation.

    To me, the beginning of a story is the opportune time to begin building the foundations upon which the entire story-world will be based.
    At the beginning of my stories, I like to show my character's personality (yes, character traits can pop up at different times in a story), I like to show my readers the world I've invited them into. The point is to guide your reader through your world using descriptive prose. Remember, "Show, Don't Tell".
    Examples given below:
    "The planet was lush, flowers bloomed in the forests and birds chirped." (Though this sentence is quite descriptive, it is an example of telling. Remember, you want to take your reader on a journey and show them your world. Telling is boring.)
    "Amelia sighed with satisfaction. Her world was lush and green foliage provided a blanket for Mother Earth; the blooming flowers were nature's decorations. She could not help but be overwhelmed with elation as the birds sang, darting through the sky overhead." (See what I mean? This sentence may not be the perfect example of showing, but it gives you the idea.)
    Build your world. I love stories that include histories and democracy. Usually, those elements are a sign of a story that has had a lot of work put into building the foundation. Sure, things like that can be boring (you want plot, you want action and intrigue, and depth, right?), but when they are blended perfectly with your story, it becomes something that sticks with the reader. The reader begins to feel like they really know the world you've created for them. That's what we want, right? A satisfied reader?


#5 - DON'T Be Repetitive!

    Gah! I hate repetitiveness! When I read a book, I want to be shown new stuff, I don't want the writer to put information that's already been revealed into a paragraph slot in every chapter. If you read my review of Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes, then you know that she fell victim to the beast. Yes, I still loved the book, but beware of the monster that sneaks in the shadows, ready to strike you with the dreaded need to provide "filler" just so you can up your word count!
    Here is an example from my own WIP:
    "The wolf continued circling them until it finally pounced on Jake. Its entire body landed on top of Jake, but he used the momentum of the creature to thrust his sword deep into its gut. As the wolf scrambled on top of him, Jake used his legs to kick the beast off of him." (Notice how instead of using the word "wolf" over and over again, I selected to to other words to fend off repetitiveness?)
    Guess what? You can slay the dragon too! Don't let repetitiveness be the cause of your demise as a writer, be creative, use different descriptions, words, and phrases!

_________________________________________________________________________________
Thanks for reading my lengthy post. I hope it helped you in some way.

Until the next time,
Brian

I look forward to hearing from you! Feel free to leave a comment!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

"Arn: The Knight Templar" - A Movie Review

Me: Oh, Netflix, how I love thee...
My readers: Can you elaborate?
Me: Yes, I can! Just read on!

    In a time of brave knights, powerful queens and treacherous kings, Arn, a skilled swordsman, is sent to war as a Knight Templar, while Cecilia, the love of his life, is imprisoned in a convent.
    Recently, thanks to the recommendation of a friend of mine, I discovered a wondrous, magnificent show on Netflix. This show is beautifully titled Arn: The Knight Templar.  >>>>>>
    Upon watching the first episode, I was captured. Oh, my, how this show has so enraptured me I could watch it over and over. Not to mention the awesome cover! >>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Such beautiful landscapes, characters, and plots, it's next to impossible for this show not to draw one in!
    This is actually the first foreign show that I've ever watched, it being Swedish. Ninety percent of the time, the viewer is reading subtitles. However, this does not detract from the visualization. If anything it enhances it, for it allows the dialogue to remain with you for some time.
    Now to the nitty-gritty.

    Language - very mild language used infrequently; "h*ll", "cr*p"; one use of the s-word at the end of the series. 3/5
    Sexual content - a woman comes to a man and enters his bed, she begins to force herself on him, though this lasts momentarily. No nudity is shown. A man and a woman have sex (nothing but a man's torso and a woman's shoulders is shown) and it is said later that the woman is pregnant. A man is excommunicated for allegedly committing adultery with two women; a woman is sent to a convent for being with a man outside of marriage. 3/5
    Violence - Mild. Severed hands, heads, etc... A horse is slain. 2/5
    Scary Images - ^^^ 2/5

    All things considered, Arn: The Knight templar is a must see for any lovers of foreign medieval dramas who aren't afraid of a little love or a little blood. And who can forget the cover? :D

5 of 5 stars!

God bless,
Brian

Have you seen Arn: The Knight Templar? If so, what were your thoughts?

Friday, May 31, 2013

"Merlin's Blade" by Robert Treskillard - A Book Giveaway (courtesy of Heavenward Reviews)

Hello, my little stalkers! Noah over at Heavenward Reviews is hosting a giveaway for a paperback copy of Merlin's Blade by the fantastic Robert Treskillard! Check it out here!

God bless,
Brian

Introducing the world of "Paradox"!

Hey, all! I'd like to reveal to you the final draft of the map of Paragon to you! But first, I'll show you the original version! The first draft was simply a rough sketch, and it isn't on my computer, so you won't see it here.

Draft 2
I created this draft using the Windows application called Paint.

Final Draft
I sketched this draft in my sketchpad and then scanned it to my computer.


    Well, I do hope that you like this. The final draft is the version that you will find in the published book itself!
    So, do you plan to buy yourself a copy of Paradox when it is released?

God bless,
Brian