Wednesday, November 26, 2014

November Reviews: Interstellar, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, Big Hero 6, and Remember Me!

November is just about over with impressive box office numbers to go along with it. The biggest players turned out to be science fiction, which is awesome! And with The Hobbit's conclusion and Into The Woods coming soon, fantasy looks primed to dominate December.

So what's the buzz? This is what I've been watching this month:

The earth is dying. The only way for humans to survive is to race against time, and space, to find a new home in another galaxy. Say what you want about Christopher Nolan's sci-fi odyssey, but I loved it. When movies make me think, it wins. Films like this inspire the mind and fuel the imagination. And cool things were depicted that film has never shown before, too. I'm excited to see what space travel has in store for us. You won't want to miss this on the big screen.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

The penultimate chapter of The Hunger Games finds our Katniss wedged in a political struggle as war is eminent. Fighting President Snow is only the beginning. I can't see why the third book had to be split, but if that reason was to give greater depth into the process of how a revolution begins, Part 1 did an amazing job. This is a super smart political drama. If you have been following this series, then you won't be disappointed.

Big Hero 6

Stricken by the loss of his older brother, young Hiro enlists his brother's creation, Baymax (a personal medical companion) and his friend to find the super villain responsible. And kick some butt. It has been too long since we last had a good animated superhero movie, and this adaptation of a Marvel series footed the bill, fun and surprisingly heartwarming. This is one Disney movie that I would love to see a sequel for.

Remember Me

In 2084, Neo-Paris is the battle ground for a war on memories, where a consensual dictatorship controls us. Only Nilin, a memory hunter, has the power to stop it. She just has to find her stolen memory first. This game came out a while ago, but it was Shallee's book that made me hurry and play it. A world where memories are weapons is a scary scenario, which makes for an intense game. Some deep themes, well worth playing.

And that's a wrap for now! The long weekend is coming. I'm hanging my writer's cap and will be enjoying some family time and a berry pie. Yes. I love berry pie.

Seen any of these movies yet? What did you think? Playing to visit your local theater over the weekend? What's your favorite pie?

I'm David, and when the turkey is done, the Battle will come!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Mid-November Catching-Up-To-Do Hiatus (Plus A Publisher's Weekly Review and Giveaway Results)!

Short post today. I have a lot of catching up to do on two ARCs I'm reading and a cup full of life. With an averted medical situation thrown in. All is well, just got thrown off my grove a little bit.

I do have some cool news. Publishers Weekly reviewed Woven, and it's another good one! I want to thank everyone who participated in and spread the word about the giveaway on Goodreads. We had over 1,100 requests, which is downright cool. The winners are posted. If you signed up, go see if you won. The book has also found its way onto a few lists; feel free to check them out. The buzz is building!

Let's see if I can squeeze a few hundred blog visits before next week. Up to 300 so far. A little behind. I'll get there. See you next time!

How's your November treating you? Exciting plans? Exciting books? What do you think about the Publishers Weekly review? Exciting?

I'm David, and don't forget to support the rebellion this weekend!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Unhappening Of Genesis Lee: A Sci-Fi Debut From Shallee McArthur That Will Make You Lose Your Mind!

Today we're making room on the bridge to welcome science fiction author Shallee McArthur! Her first book just came out, called The Unhappening of Genesis Lee. Shallee was kind enough to lone me an early copy, and I'm so glad she did. Because I have nothing but love for it. Scroll down and see what the commotion is about!

Seventeen-year-old Genesis Lee has never forgotten anything. As one of the Mementi—a small group of genetically-enhanced humans—Gena remembers everything with the help of her Link bracelets, which preserve memories perfectly. But Links can be stolen, and six people have already lost their lives to a memory thief, including Gena’s best friend.

Anyone could be next. Which is why Gena is less than pleased to meet a strange but charming boy named Kalan who claims that they’ve not only met, but that Gena knows who the thief is.

The problem is, Gena doesn’t remember Kalan, she doesn’t remember seeing the thief, and she doesn’t know why she’s forgetting things— or how much else she might forget. As growing tensions between Mementi and ordinary humans drive the city of Havendale into chaos, Gena and Kalan team up to search for the thief. And as Gena loses more memories, they realize they have to solve the mystery fast.

Because Gena’s life is unhappening around her.

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Turn a concept that's as intricate and mysterious as a memory and change it to something tangible and everlasting, with a caper thrown in, and you have The Unhappening of Genesis Lee. Just the thought of losing your memory is scary, so when there's a society who can store their personal memories in jewelry, which can be easily stolen like any other item, it makes McArthur's sci-fi concept even more terrifying. The solid pacing, likable characters, and excellent psychology made this a blast to read. Grab your copy now:

Amazon     Barnes&Noble     IndieBound     BAM!

Congratulations, Shallee! I will gladly read your next book.

Doesn't this sound neat? How cool would it be to wear memories and never forget them? How scary would it be to have them stolen?

I'm David, and look who had their launch party at my library!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

IWSG: Alive Or Dead? The State of the Author Blog

Need A Little Support?Thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh, the Insecure Writer's Support Group gives bloggers a monthly chance to express their concerns, worries, and insecurities without fear of reprisal. It's a seriously big group now, and with well over 300 participants, it shows no signs of slowing down! I'd like to thank Alex for keeping this group going for so long, as it has proved wonderful in the supporting of fellow authors and the revealing of needed and sound advice.

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Before I get into this, I should tell you that Goodreads is offering a giveaway for 20 COPIES of Woven! If you're a goodreader, or if you have been looking for a good excuse to join, now is your chance.

Also our first major review for Woven is in, and it's a good one! Go see what Kirkus Reviews said about our high-fantasy ghost story!

Now to the insecurity ...

I went to a launch party a few weeks ago, and met author friends who I haven't seen in a while, online or in person. We talked about blogging and the current state of the Blogosphere. Our observations had come to the same conclusion: we blog way less now. Some authors there hadn't blogged in months. If you do a Google search, you'd be surprised how many "Is Blogging Dead?" links there are.

So, then. Is the era of author blogging dead? Let me weigh in:

There's no solitary explanation for this turn of the tide. Just factors. When I started this blog, I was a budding young writer, stoked from my first writing conference. I was also the father of one infant. My job wasn't demanding, and my chosen BS courses came easy to me. I was also a renter. I had free time on my hands. Lots of free time.

Fast forward to today. I'm a father of three. I own a house. I'm not in college anymore, but that BS degree landed me a good job that's ten times more demanding than school was. On top of that, my first book will be out soon. There is a demand for more. Free time I have not.

I can imagine that many of you have grown as well.

We jumped on this blogging business because word had spread that "agents will look us up" and "we have to have an online presence" should we wish to have a chance of being published; me included. That was my initial motivation. But in the long run, my motivation found cause in the community. For the first time, people got me. I wasn't alone in this crazy dream of being a writer. You have kept me going, even when I was begging for the self-inflicted torture to stop.

It's been a year since a paradigm shift rocked several aspects of my life; this hasn't stopped me from visiting blogs. Some have gained momentum and are still going strong. Others ceased before they got going. Some are no longer with us. The blogosphere is going through a sense of loss. But rest assured, regardless of what state our blogs are in, it's more than okay if higher priorities have taken its place.

Everyone's journey has their own pace. Take as long as you need.

For me, I've found success through being a friend first. I somehow lost sight of that, but I intend to make up for it. And that's why my NaNoWriMo goal is to visit every, single, person who has followed my blog and see what they are up to. What you are up to. I have already started. You are my crew. You helped build this. You had a hand in this, so what kind of captain would I be if I didn't check in on you?

Is the author blog dead? I don't know. But I'm going to find out.

What has been your observation about the Blogosphere in the last year? Is it still alive? Can we somehow revitalize the author blog? 

I'm David, and why did this guy have to make Pinocchio scary?