A Bookish Valentine Blog Hop: A Series You Love

And now for today’s post in the Bookish Valentine Blog Hop, everyone’s favourite book series. But before we get started on that, here’s the blog hop list so you can go check out past entries, and click ahead to the ones still coming.

 

Jo Linsdell started us off with a list of her favourite book bloggers.

V.L. Jennings hosted for “A book other people love, but you haven’t read yet”

Tomorrow you can pop back here for “A Series you Love”

Then on to Skye Hegyes for “Your Fictional Crush”

We’ll have a list of books with hearts on the cover on the 12th.

On the 13th it’s a book you love that no one else is talking about, hosted over at Bold Book Geek.

And on the 14th it’s a list of books to read for Valentine’s Day.

Allison

Allie Bock – Girlwithagoodbookandherdog.blogspot.com

One of my favorite series is the An Unfortunate Fairy Tale series by Chanda Hahn. The main character is so likeable. Each book is actioned packed and there are plot twists. Of course, she falls in love at the end. What’s not to like!

Jo Linsdell

Jo Linsdell – www.JoLinsdell.com

So many to choose from… one of my favourites is the Shepherd series by Ethan Cross. He has this way of creating complex characters that blur the lines of good and evil. If you like thrillers, I highly recommend checking them out. The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling also deserves a mention, as does pretty much any series by Susan Hatler.

vljauthorpic

V.L. Jennings – www.virginialorijennings.com

Do I have to pick just one? Too bad… Harry Potter, Redwall, Narnia, The Left Behind series, Star Wars New Jedi Order- though they are no longer canon. See, told you I couldn’t pick just one.

Skye Hegyes

Skye Hegyes – www.skyehegyes.com

Admittedly, although I love a lot of series, there aren’t many that I’ve completely finished beyond the Harry Potter series. I realized this when trying to come up with an answer for this question actually. I think the first one that comes to mind is actually Riders of the Apocalypse series by Jackie Morse Kessler as well as the Graceling Realm series by Kristin Cashore, which I’ve read all of. Most series I’ve read a couple of the books from, but not all.

 

Now me, I’m a huge series reader. Redwall, Song of the Lioness and the other series in that world, Dragons of Pern, The Rowan books, The Green Mile … I’ve read a lot of series over the years. There are so that I come back to over and over again. The Mercedes Thompson and Alpha & Omega books by Patricia Briggs, the Black Jewels books by Anne Bishop, the Society of Immortals books by Geralyn Wichers – those are probably my top 4.

What’s your favourite series?

Advertisements

My Bookish Valentine Blog Hop: Favourite Fictional Characters

And now for today’s post in the Bookish Valentine Blog Hop, everyone’s favourite fictional couples. But before we get started on that, here’s the blog hop list so you can go check out past entries, and click ahead to the ones still coming.

 

Jo Linsdell started us off with a list of her favourite book bloggers.

V.L. Jennings hosted for “A book other people love, but you haven’t read yet”

Tomorrow you can pop back here for “A Series you Love”

Then on to Skye Hegyes for “Your Fictional Crush”

We’ll have a list of books with hearts on the cover on the 12th.

On the 13th it’s a book you love that no one else is talking about, hosted over at Bold Book Geek.

And on the 14th it’s a list of books to read for Valentine’s Day.

Jo Linsdell

Jo Linsdell www.JoLinsdell.com

My absolute favourite fictional couple has to be WALL-E and EVE from Disney’s WALL-E. Seriously, so cute! As we’re talking books here though, I’m going to go with a classic… Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Their civilised sparring as their courtship progresses is brilliant.
vljauthorpic

V.L. Jennings www.VirginiaLoriJennings.com

Lois Lane and Superman/Clark (I’m a comic book fan), honestly it is the triangle that intrigues me. Lois is a strong lady who always tries to protect or help Superman even though he is much more powerful than he is. Her scoops always land her in trouble but they always seem to draw out whatever bad plan is going on that superman needed to stop. The fact that she is his ultimate kryptonite isn’t lost on me either.

If we are talking actual book relationships…Gilbert and Anne from Anne of Green Gables will always have a soft spot. “I’ve loved you since the day you broke your slate over my head in school.” ~Gilbert

 

Skye Hegyes

Skye Hegyes (www.skyehegyes.com)

My favorite fictional couple comes from my favorite book, but not the first in the series, as the couple is not actually introduced to one another until the final book in the trilogy. I realize how weird that sounds, but romance was not the major point of the story, but a result of events that just happened naturally, which was part of the reason I love the relationship so much. The couple is Vanyel Ashkevron and the Bard Stefen from the Last Herald-Mage series by Mercedes Lackey. They are bound together through events beyond their control and are comrades and friends before they’re ever lovers, but I still love them all the same.

 

As for me, there’s a few. I adore Anna and Charles from the Alpha and Omega series by Patricia Briggs. In Anne Bishop’s Black Jewels books I like Lucivar and Marian best, or maybe Grey and Cassie or Ranon and Shira. That’s a tough one actually. But I think my all time favourite fictional couple is one that NO ONE has ever heard of before, and that is the cinnamon peeler and his wife in the poem “The Cinnamon Peeler’s Wife” by Michael Ondaatje. In it a man speaks of never being able to go near his wife when they were courting because he always smelled of cinnamon and her brothers would always know if he touched her. He speaks of disguising his smell in saffron and smoke and limes, just to touch her.

The are swimming together, after they are married, and she laughs, saying “so this is how you touch other women, here where your hands have no smell” – a teasing thing said between couples.

In the end she takes his hands and lays them on her skin. “Touch me. I am the cinnamon peeler’s wife”. There is something in that ending, her desire to be known and to belong, that what he saw as a curse she saw as a mark of pride, that has stuck with me since I first read this poem 10 years ago.

So, who is it for you? Who is your favourite fictional couple?

The Birth of a Story

My story started with an 18×24 inch, three panel, yellow folder.

Each student was given one of these folders in the second grade. On the front it said “Writing Portfolio” and under that, in the impossibly neat printing of an elementary school teacher, it had my name. When you opened it up and set it on your desk or on the floor you were in a private little cubby, like the study desks at the library. Perhaps that’s why I preferred the study desks in the hallway at St Paul’s over the library tables. Perhaps I was remembering this folder.

When open it had three pockets. The left pocket was for ideas, brainstorming, and rough drafts. The middle pocket had our dictionary and our editing materials. And this wasn’t a professionally published dictionary – it was 26 pages, half-sheet size, stapled together and we had to write in the words we had trouble with as we went along. On the right was space for our nearly finished work. Then we would neatly print the story and draw a picture for it and post it on the bulletin board.

This is one of my most vivid memories of elementary school.

When I was young my mother kept one of those school memories journals for me, and one for my sister, and at the end of each school year she’d ask us who our friends were, what our favourite subject was, and what we wanted to be when we grew up.

Kindergarten: Doctor, Artist, Teacher

Grade 1: Storyteller, Writer

Grade 2: Gymnast, Teacher, Writer

Grade 3: Hairdresser, Olympic athlete in soccer or gymnastics

Grade 4: Writer

Grade 5: Author

Grade 6: Author, Piano teacher

In junior high I had an extra binder just for my stories. They were fan-fiction, though I didn’t know what fan-fiction was back then. I knew plagiarism was wrong though so I’d change things and try to make the story my own, but it wasn’t.

In high school my writing became more original but it would be years yet before I became a published author.

Now I’m 30. I’m married with 2 kids. I work from home as a full-time author with nine original books. Seventeen years ago I started writing in earnest, trying to learn this amazing craft. It’s been one heck of a journey so far, and it’s far from over.

Bookish Christmas Blog Hop

On the fourth day of blog hop some writers gave to me a fictional guest list for Christmas dinner!

Okay, it doesn’t rhyme. Sorry. So, I am participating in the Bookish Blog Hop’s Christmas hop.

You can check out the first three stops here:

A book you love so much you want everyone​ ​ to find under their Christmas tree​ this year so they can read ​​it too.

A book cover that has wonderfully Christmas feel to it.

A book you’d like to find in your Christmas ​​stocking this year.

Today’s question is: Which fiction character would you like to have spend Christmas with?

BelindaBekkers

Belinda Bekkers

www.BelindaBekkers.com

It would have to be Gatsby. Could you imagine the grandeur of it? I bet it would have a giant tree covered in fancy decorations.

Jo Linsdell
Jo Linsdell

www.JoLinsdell.com

I’m torn here. Either Elizabeth Bennett from Pride and Prejudice or Bridget Jones from Bridget Jones’s Diary. Elizabeth is clever, would no doubt make great conversation, and she can hold her own if discussions come up. Bridget Jones is so real all the time, and I think would be a fun and entertaining guest. She’s so wonderfully not-perfect.

Skye Hegyes

Skye Hegyes

www.skyehegyes.com

There are so many characters I wouldn’t mind spending time with any time of the year, but I think the one I’d like to spend Christmas with would be Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter world. She would be fun and entertaining, but I also feel like I could learn a lot from her too, and not just about magic.

 

And me?

I would like to spend Christmas at the Barrelhaven Tavern with Lucien and Grandma Ben. Perhaps Thorn will come down from the capital for a visit, and with a little luck the Bone boys will be around for a long visit, because once winter lands in the valley nothing goes in or out for months. There’s something about a warm rustic tavern full of savory smells and good friends that appeals to me.

What about you? Where would you spend Christmas? And who would you spend it with?

 

Be sure to continue on down the hop!

December 14th – A fictional character you’d​ like to kiss under the mistletoe.

December 15th – A fictional creature to replace Rudolph and meet on the roof.

December 16th – 5 fictional characters you’d invite to your New Year’s Eve party

Book Lover’s Blog Hop

Today I am hosting the Book Lover’s Blog Hop. Each day of August a different author will be hosting the QUESTION OF THE DAY on their blog. I invite you to check out posts 1-8, and to head over to the rest of the blogs throughout the month. Here’s the schedule:

1st August http://www.JoLinsdell.com
2nd August http://www.skyehegyes.com
3rd August http://www.katherineapisana.com
4th August http://www.upstreamwriter.blogspot.com
5th August https://bookenthusiast2016.wordpress.com
6th August http://karaswanson.com
7th August http://www.brandypotterbooks.com
8th August http://www.BelindaBekkers.com
9th August http://www.casiaschreyer.wordpress.com
10th August http://www.katherineapisana.com
11th August http://www.virginialorijennings.com
12th August http://www.virginialorijennings.com
13th August http://www.cjbrightley.com
14th August http://www.JustBJordan.com
15th August http://www.saderena.com/blog
16th August http://www.angelaguidolinauthor.co.uk/blog
17th August http://www.tabithacaplinger.com
18th August http://www.skyehegyes.com
19th August http://www.landsuncharted.com
20th August kmcarrollblog.wordpress.com
21st August http://www.upstreamwriter.blogspot.com
22nd August http://www.JoLinsdell.com
23rd August http://www.belindabekkers.com
24th August http://www.fabianspace.com
25th August http://theliteraryapothecary.blogspot.com
26th August http://www.JustBJordan.com
27th August http://www.jebraunclifford.com
28th August http://www.brandypotterbooks.com
29th August http://www.skyehegyes.com
30th August http://www.brandypotterbooks.com
31st August http://www.landsuncharted.com

My QUESTION OF THE DAY is
HOW DO YOU ARRANGE YOUR BOOKSHELF?

Jordan 300dpi
Just B. Jordan http://www.JustBJordan.com

I don’t do anything super cool. I just organize by genre and author, putting my favorites in the most accessible spots. 🙂

Brandy Potter
Brandy Potter http://www.brandypotterbooks.com

By collection really and then by height, tallest to largest. I have a library corner in my bedroom. I have very old books (one from 1834). Those and classics occupy the top shelves. Then I have my series authors, Eddings, Tolkein, Riordan, Rowlings, Graham, Doyle, Lewis, Snicket, Christy. Again by height. Next contemporary artists. Grouped by author then height. Last non-fiction grouped by category.

Jo Linsdell
Jo Linsdell http://www.JoLinsdell.com

I don’t really have a system as such. I tend to organise by size, and genre. Books from a series always go together, and I try to put books by the same author together too.

SkyeHegyes
Skye Hegyes http://www.skyehegyes.com

I have three different categories. All my non-fiction is on one shelf sorted by topic and then book size. Then I have mass market paperbacks sorted by author’s last name. The last is all tradeback books and hardcovers, again sorted by author’s last name. It works for me, but I need more shelves.

BelindaBekkers
Belinda Bekkers http://www.belindabekkers.com

I change them from time-to-time. Currently they’re organised by the book’s cover colour. Sometimes it’s by genre, height, or whether they’re read/to-be-read.

Laurie Lucking Author Headshot
Laurie Lucking http://www.landsuncharted.com

My top priority in organizing my bookshelves is to make them look pretty 🙂 I do try to group by genre a bit, but mostly I put books by the same publisher together and books that are the same size together so they line up nicely.

vljauthorpic.jpg
V.L. Jennings http://www.virginialorijennings.com

I sort my books by type, how much I like them, and then by size. It is absolute sacrilege to put books in a series separate from each other. The home improvement books never go next to the Fiction books. The books that are the prettiest or those that I love reading the most go near eye level. It’s sorta complicated.

Jebraun Clifford
Jebraun Clifford – http://www.jebraunclifford.com

We’ve got bookshelves in every room of the house except the kitchen and bathroom. Even boxes of books we’re storing in the attic for my daughter! (breaks my heart to keep them there, but we literally have no room for another bookshelf!) I try to keep everything tidy and in it’s approximate genre. That’s as much as I can manage.

Karina Fabian headshot Aug 2013
Karina Fabian http://fabianspace.com

The family bookshelves are organized by genre and author. I don’t have my personal ones up yet, since we just moved into our new house, but there will be a shelf for friends’ books, a shelf for mine, a shelf for writing, then a shelf for my favorites by author.

C. J. Brightley

The main bookshelves downstairs have all the fiction books organized alphabetically by author’s last name. The bottom shelves hold books to be read (in no particular order). The books in the arts and crafts area in the basement hold all the non-fiction books grouped by topic, and one shelf has young adult books we own that my daughter isn’t quite ready for yet.. The bookshelves in our bedroom hold library books, books I’ve borrowed from friends, and books next up on my TBR list. My children both have their own bookshelves, which are always disorganized, although we try to keep their library books on the bottom shelves.

And me?
My big bookshelf is organized by size first – books go on the shelves where they fit. Then each shelf is sorted by author and series. I have a second shelf that has my photo albums, oversized books and text books. There’s also a shelf in the basement with kids’ books which is sorted by reading level.

Thanks everyone for sharing! I hope you’ll take the time to visit some of the other blogs on the tour.

School Visits

Studies show that children learn best when they are fully engaged. More and more schools are inviting visitors to talk about different subjects. My daughter’s class had a visit from a former member of the school board. He taught them about ice fishing, the parts of the fish, and how to cook fish. He brought a freshly caught fish to school to show them. She talked about this for days.

During I Love To Read month they had a local radio announcer come and read to the school. Last year they had two football players from the Blue Bombers come down to read.

Math, Science, and Literacy are a lot harder to get excited about than Art or Music. That’s why these visitors are so important.

As a local author I love visiting schools to share my books, and my love of the written word. I offer different reading packages for different age groups and different needs.

Basic Readings: I have books for all grade levels from pre-4 to Grade 12 (Senior 4). At a reading I read. That simple! For younger kids I read all of one or even both of my picture books and let them ask questions and tell me stories as young kids love to do. With grade 3+ I read excerpts of a grade appropriate story and ask questions to get them engaged. What do they think will happen? Questions about setting and character. And I let them ask their questions. These last roughly 30-45 minutes, depending on how many questions they have.

Q&A Sessions: These focus a little less on the reading and more on the questions. I encourage teachers to brainstorm questions with their students ahead of time. I answer questions about the writing process (brainstorming, writing, editing, and publishing), my own creative process (where I get my ideas, where I find my covers, my writing schedule, etc), the marketing side of being a writer, and even some basic personal questions about myself. This can take 30-60 minutes depending on the questions, and the teacher’s needs.

Basic Writing Workshop: Teachers should schedule at least a full period for this (40-65 min) or more depending on the size of the class. I go over all the basics of writing: character, setting, plot, outlining, writing, editing, project length, publishing … I engage the students with short writing prompts and encourage them to share what they write. This is a great introduction to a creative writing unit.

In-Depth Writing Workshop: Teachers should schedule three-four full periods roughly a week apart for this workshop. In the first session I go over things like character, setting, plot, brainstorming, outlining, and the first draft. I go over some writing prompts and answer questions. The students then have a week to work on their project. In the second session we go over the editing process in detail. If teachers send the first drafts ahead to me I can return them to the students with a critique (don’t worry, I’m gentle!). The students then have a week to self and peer edit their projects. In the third session we have the chance to share our works in progress and we talk about polishing and publishing. I have a package of ideas for the teacher that goes over various options for putting the stories together in a book – anything from using the comb binding machine to duotangs to a professionally bound book. A fourth visit can be arranged a week or two later to reveal the finished project.

So far I have only done in class visits but I would love to expand to doing Skype visits as well. We have smart boards in the schools and this sounds like a great way to make use of them. I live in southern Manitoba in Canada and I’m willing to travel a little to visit schools in a wide area around me. Anyone interested in more information or booking a visit can contact me through the form on the blog or at my Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/schreyerauthor.

 

Interview with Author Casia Schreyer

A recent author interview I did for Pieces.

Schreyer Ink Publishing

Schreyer Ink Publishing is pleased to announce the release of Pieces a young adult contemporary novel by author Casia Schreyer. We had some questions for the author and she was eager to answer.

So Casia, this is your third novel and your second in this genre. What inspired you to write a novel like Pieces?

CS: Actually, that’s a strange story. I was talking to a friend about Christmas lights and the varying opinions about whether people should be decorating for Christmas before Remembrance Day. That led to the idea of a girl who has these new neighbours who don’t put up lights for Christmas The boys in her neighbourhood egg the house. She’s wondering why they don’t have lights. From there grew the idea of a novel told in vignette style chapters about this girl and the things happening around her as she becomes more aware of her world…

View original post 756 more words

Radio Interview with Dahlia Kurtz

I had the opportunity to talk with the lovely Dahlia Kurtz as part of her Thanking Good People Friday program yesterday. We talked about my debut novel, Nothing Everything Nothing, and the fundraiser for Kids Help Phone.

Take a listen.

If you’re in southern Manitoba come say hello to me, I’ll be at 400 Spence Street in Winnipeg on Sunday May 3rd with the Kids Help Phone Walk so Kids Can Talk event from 10am until early afternoon.

As always, buying a copy of Nothing Everything Nothing from me will send $2 directly to Kids Help Phone. Buying a copy online sends $1 to this wonderful charity. THIS SUNDAY ONLY buy a copy of ReImagined and I’ll donate a dollar from that as well.

Interview with Author Grace Brooks

Grace Brooks writes under the pen names Heather Radford and Lynette Tamar Mark.
Books available are, The Asquinn Twins: Frontier Life, The Asquinn Twins: Where The Trail Forks and The Asquinn Twins: No Greener Pastures.
Grace’s latest release is The Asquinn Twins: No Greener Pastures. She also wrote A dog For Keeps(Lynette Tamar Mark)
Grace Brooks(Shortt) hails from Sesekinika, Ontario, but currently lives in The Pas, Manitoba with her husband and Papillion.

1/ What genres do you enjoy reading?
A: I enjoy Y/A, Mystery, and family type movies, and the odd romance.

2/What genres do you write? What age groups are your books for?
A: Really, my writing is without age limits. I write Christian/YA for ages twelve and up.

3/Tell us a little about your latest release. Where did you get the inspiration from?
A:My latest rlease is The Asquinn Twins: No Greener Pastures. This book is a continuation of Book One in The Asquinn Twins Series. The boys, Ken Asquinn and Bradan Turehue are not living the Christian life as they did as boys. Their behaviour gets to be so unchristlike, both boys are expelled from Golden Ridge Baptist Church, the church Ken’s father, Obediah Asquinn, Pastors.The boys go onto police college and graduate.
By now Ken has married Bradan’s sister, Charlotte and Bradan has married Ken’s sister, Martha.
Ken’s behaviour gets so bad, Charlotte leaves Ken and returns to Forest Lake, their home town.
The inspiration came from an incident in my life when a little girl in Ontario. When I wrote the first book, other ideas for a series sprang into my mind.

4/What are you working on now?
A/ I’m working on a sequel to A Dog fro Keeps. This book was published as a grade three reader in 1987. I’m attempting to make an ebook sequel.

5/Tell us about your creative process. Do you outline, or just write wherever the story takes you? What does your workspace look like? Do you have any habits or quirks when you are writing?
A/ I used to write wherever the story took me. Since a writer in residence took me through the writing process and taught me more about plot, I outline and research and make sure I know my characters by writing descriptions of each major, minor and in between character.

6/ What do you find to be the hardest part of writing a novel?
A/ I find writing the first page of the novel to be the hardest. So much has to be introduced to the reader here, especially in a series. Characters from the previous books need to be introduced early so the reader will know later on who this character is.

7/What about the wasiest? What part of the writing process just feels natural for you?
A/If there is an easy part of writing, I’d say from Chapter Two onwards to the last chapter. Sometimes bringing the book to a believable conclusion is an art in it’s self.

Thanks, Grace Brooks for sharing this information with us today.
Links to her books: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Heather+Radford

Author Interview with Doreen Pchajek

With us today we have Doreen Pchajek a first-time writer from Ste. Anne, Manitoba. Doreen’s book, Ultimate Tragedy tells the story of her experiences after suffering the devastating loss of her only daughter in a car accident. Besides writing the book, Doreen also established the Stacey Pchajek Memorial Foundation, a registered Canadian Charity which gives scholarships, bursaries & prizes in her daughter’s memory. Thank you for joining us today, Doreen.

What genres and authors do you enjoy reading?

I used to really enjoy reading suspense thrillers and mystery novels. Since the accident though I find it very difficult to read as I have a great deal of difficulty with memory & concentration. There are so many great books out there right now that I’d love to read; if only I could read like I used to! My favorite authors are Stephen King and Dean Koontz.

What genres do you write in? What age groups are your books for?

So far the only book that I have written is non-fiction and it is for age 16 and up.

Tell us a little about your book. Where did you get your inspiration?

I had always enjoyed writing and there were many people who told me that I had a talent for writing. My daughter Stacey told me often, “You should write a book mom.” The possibility of writing a book had always been somewhere in the back of my mind. However I always seemed to be so busy being a wife and mother so it was just something to think about down the road.

When Stacey died at the age of thirteen, our whole family’s lives were thrown into turmoil. After going through six very difficult years it occurred to me that by putting my experiences into a book it could help others who are going through a similar tragedy and at the same time help others to understand what bereaved parents go through.

What are you working on now?

Right now I’ve been kept busy raising money for my daughter’s memorial foundation which is very important to me. However, I am currently contemplating writing another book. I’m just not sure if it will be another non-fiction or something else.

Tell us about your creative process.

Since my book was based on my own actual experiences it didn’t really involve a lot of creativity. Writing non-fiction stories does involve some creativity though as you still have to tell the story in a way that captivates your audience.

Do you outline or just write wherever the story takes you?

Yes, my story was definitely outlined and since I have difficulty with memory I had to rely on help from family members. Together we put everything in point form in chronologic order and I worked from there.

What does your workspace look like?

My workspace is usually quite messy with papers all over the place. Every so often I have to clean it up so I can find things.

Do you have any habits or quirks when you are writing?

As for quirks or odd habits most of the things I like to do while writing are pretty normal. Except that I like to write at night when everyone else is sleeping. Since the accident I don’t sleep well at night. I am usually ready to fall asleep about the time that everyone else is waking up. I think that I kind of like to be alone in my thoughts.

What do you find to be the hardest part of writing a novel? What about the easiest? What’s your favorite part?

Writing Ultimate Tragedy was extremely difficult for me; especially when I was reading Stacey’s hospital chart. The easiest part was knowing that it could help so many other people. My favorite part was seeing the actual finished product.

Thank you for sharing with us today Doreen Pchajek. You can find Doreen’s book on Amazon.