Warriors: Power of Three Books 1 and 2

Via Goodreads
Via Goodreads

Summary (from Goodreads):

There will be three, kin of your kin . . .

The wild cats have flourished in their new home on the banks of the lake for several seasons, and the Clans are growing strong and healthy with new kits. The time has come for three kits of ThunderClan to become apprentices.

Hollypaw, Jaypaw, and Lionpaw spring from a strong legacy: children of Squirrelflight and Brambleclaw, two of the noblest ThunderClan warriors, and grandchildren of the great leader Firestar himself. All three young cats possess unusual power and talent and seem certain to provide strength to the Clan for the next generation.

But there are dark secrets around the three, and a mysterious prophecy hints at trouble to come. An undercurrent of rage is rising against those who are not Clanborn, and the warrior code is in danger of being washed away by a river of blood. All the young cats’ strength will be needed if the Clans are to survive.

. . . who hold the power of the stars in their paws.

If anyone has read the Warriors series then you will know that this is in fact the first book of the third series. In other words, this is the 13th book.

Firestar was the main character who started this series for all of us, so this series focuses on his grandchildren: Lionpaw, Hollypaw, and Jaypaw.

The book follows their struggle as they try to find a place within their clan. Lionpaw wants to be a warrior, but Hollypaw would rather be a medicine cat while Jaypaw wants to be a warrior as well. However, destiny says otherwise.

Due to Jaypaw’s blindness, it’s hard for everyone else to believe that he’ll make a strong warrior. However, Jaypaw is able to “see” through scent and touch. It’s not until Jaypaw dreams of StarClan, their ancestors, that he realizes he’s not blind in his dreams and he was walks into other cats’ dreams. That alone proves Jaypaw is the rightful medicine cat.

This book follows mostly Jaypaw as he learns to deal with his blindness and how he can effectively serve his Clan and learn how to “see” everything.

The Sight by Erin Hunter gets 4 out of 5 stars.

Favorite Quote:

“You drift around the camp like a little dark cloud looking for someone to rain on.” –Erin Hunter, The Sight

Via Goodreads
Via Goodreads

Summary (from Goodreads):

The three children of Squirrelflight and Brambleclaw, grandchildren of the great leader Firestar, have thrived in their apprenticeships: Lionpaw’s strength and energy serve him well as a warrior in training, Hollypaw hones her understanding of the warrior code, and Jaypaw explores his mysterious powers and connection to StarClan as the medicine cat apprentice.

With more experience comes both power and danger: Lionpaw makes a friendship–and a discovery–that must be kept hidden; Jaypaw learns a secret that could benefit ThunderClan by damaging others; and Hollypaw knows something that could avert a battle, if she could convince the rest of her Clan.

The three are torn apart as each discovers darkness: in themselves, in the Clans, and in the past. And, as conflict begins over what it means to be a warrior, rising tensions threaten to overflow, washing away the peace that has existed for many moons.

The second book in the third series follows mostly Hollypaw and Lionpaw now. Lionpaw betrays his Clan by sneaking out at night to meet a WindClan apprentice, Heatherpaw.

They’re friends, not harming anyone. However, staying up all night takes a toll on Lionpaw when he is unable to train properly due to lack of sleep. His clanmates are getting suspicious and Hollypaw already knows and isn’t too happy with him.

Meanwhile, to help with his training, Lionpaw receives lessons from Tigerstar and Hawkfrost, his deceased kin. They will him to the dark side, but Lionpaw has yet to see that.

Heatherpaw discovers underground tunnels where she and Lionpaw can meet in peace. It isn’t until much later that Jaypaw discovers some ancestors are in those underground tunnels because they died in there.

Hollypaw tries to keep the peace between all the Clans; especially when three WindClan kits go missing. WindClan automatically assumes the worst believing one of the Clans has kidnapped them. Hollypaw is determined to find the kits before a battle breaks out.

Hollypaw, Jaypaw, Lionpaw, and Heatherpaw, with the help of another WindClan apprentice, Breezepaw, track the kits down in the underground tunnel before the rain floods it.

Warriors: Dark River by Erin Hunter gets 4 out of 4 stars.

Favorite Quote:

“I am no warrior, but I am a ThunderClan cat. I stay in the nursery rather than hunt and fight because that is what I do best. I care for our young as though they were my own. This is my gift to the Clan, but I do it in my own chosen name.” –Erin Hunter, Dark River

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Inspiration Station: Finding Your Genre

Finding Your Genre

 

Sue Grafton writes mystery. J.K. Rowling writes fantasy. What do you write?

When you’re just starting out as a writer, there are so many questions to ask and so many decisions to make. Who’s your audience? Is my writing any good? Who in the world would want to buy my stories?

My personal favorite is, what genre should I write in?

This can certainly be a tough one since there are so many different genres out there: fiction, nonfiction, science fiction, fantasy, mystery, suspense, thriller, romance, and so much more. Then there are the sub-genres to worry about.

So, how can you find your genre to write about and share with the world? There are two options.

1. Write in a few different genres you enjoy reading.

I wrote five manuscripts before I decided on which genre was right for me. Two were fantasy, two were young adult drama. Plus, I write my fair share of short stories in multiple genres as well as children’s books, middle grade, and I even tried my hand at script writing and poetry.

Once I started writing my mystery series, I fell head over heels in love. I wanted to continue writing it all the time. The characters keep the story moving, the plot make sense, and I have many more ideas to come for this particular series. I was writing for eight years before I discovered this.

2. Read every genre.

The best thing a writer can do in order to improve their writing–without actually writing–is to read. Do you have a particular genre you enjoy reading all the time? Or do you try to read every book published?

Make sure you read in many different genres. Chances are you’ll find a favorite and come up with story ideas for that genre.

Writing Prompt:

Write in an out-of-your-comfort-zone genre. For example, if you mainly write fantasy, give romance a try.

Related Articles:

How To Pick The Right Genre For Your Novel (And Why Your Sales Depend On It)
Forms of Writing
How to Choose a Genre for Your Novels

 

777 Challenge

A few months ago I posted the Lucky Seven Challenge that I found through another blog. I was going to make that a regular thing on my blog since I had so many works in progress, but decided not to.

The first time I did this challenge, I did it for George Florence 2 because that was what I was currently working on. Now I realize that I never did it for the first novel.

The lovely Gwendolyn suggested I do this challenge again. I thought I would do it from George Florence since it’s in the editing stages so it’s technically still a work in progress.

The point is this:

1. On your current WIP, scroll to page seven.
2. Count seven sentences down.
3. Then share the following seven sentences after that.

The first time I did this the challenge was to count down seven lines and then share the next seven lines. I think sharing sentences makes much more sense because, if I recall correctly, I added extra because the seven lines ended in the middle of a sentence.

Anyway… here’s seven sentences from the seventh page of George Florence:

“Call me George.”

“You got to know my father. I didn’t.” Lilah ignored my comment looking me in the eyes once more. Now I noticed she had the same emerald eyes like her father, as well.

“I didn’t come to you because I want to know more about being a detective in case my writing career doesn’t work out—which will work out, by the way—I came here to get to know my father a little bit more.” Lilah announced.

Hm… I think that a decent teaser, don’t you?

Now I have the option of tagging people to do this challenge, but I don’t think I will. I do hope some of you do the challenge, though. I think it’s fun and I would love to see what comes from your works in progress!

Change of Plans

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Via Pinterest

About a week ago, I posted my May Goals. I’ve been checking back on that post every so often as its helping me stay on task with my reading, writing, and blogging.

I reread the post the other day and realized that some plans have already changed. I know, I know… we’re not even halfway through the month yet.

Everything is pretty much the same except I decided not to type up the next draft of George Florence 2.

After meeting with my writing group a few weeks ago (which is explained further in my Problems with Protagonists post) I decided that the first book need my undivided attention and all the love it can get because I have a lot of decisions to make with that book.

1. Should I change the POV?
2. Should I make Lilah the protagonist instead of George?

Those aren’t simple changes such as deleting a scene or changing a character’s name or appearance. Changing the main character and the POV will ultimately change the entire dynamic of the novel–of the entire series.

So, I’m going to put the second book aside for the time being and focus my attention on the first book. My writers group has one more meeting before we break for the summer so I’ll spend my summer focusing on that novel. That way in September when I meet with my group again it’ll be like I’m giving them an entirely different novel.

With that said, my other writing goals for May remain the same. I’ve been writing one Short Story Sunday a day, I’ve been slowly working on critiques for my next meeting with my writers group, I’m getting my children’s book ready to be queried, Kris and I started working on a writing-related project, and I’m keeping my eyes open for magazines and contests and submit to.

20 days left in May… I hope I make it!

Short Story Sunday #56

SSS Warning

            Ginny had been warned, but now it was too late. She didn’t think anything of it at first. She thought that people were just making a big deal out of nothing. However, when the day came she realized that she had taken the situation a little too lightly.

Ginny had a huge AP math exam. She was good at math; especially since she was in the highest math class. However, it was because that she was good at math, she thought herself to be a little too good. She didn’t put all her effort into her homework because according to her, she all ready knew it all. She never studied for her tests because she knew all the material all ready. That didn’t matter because she still managed to get good grades on her tests and even on her homework. Her homework didn’t even take her long to do at home after school.

It was her favorite class because she didn’t even need to pay attention in it. She was just that good at math. Since she never paid attention in class, she never bothered to take any notes. People in her class were amazed because even when the teacher called on her to answer a question, she was able to know the answer and get it right.

“How can she know all the answers if she doesn’t pay attention in class? She doesn’t even take any notes!” people would say about her.

Ginny would smile and smirk when she overheard some of these comments. She knew she was great at math and she had no problem showing it off; especially since math was such a tricky subject to some people.

“We’re all in the same AP math class, guys,” Ginny would say arrogantly, “you guys know the material, too. You’re probably just over thinking it all.”

No one liked it when she said things like that. Most people got angry with her because she was all about herself and how smart she was in math. She was too confident and it bothered people. However, Ginny never seemed to notice that.

So, when the final AP math exam was coming up at the end of the year, all the kids in her class were panicking. Ginny, on the other hand, was cool as cucumber. She still didn’t bother to take any notes or pay any attention in class, her homework was done in about ten minutes, and she never studied the review quizzes that her teacher would give her and the class to practice on for the exam.

“This exam is going to be a lot harder than what we’ve been prepared for all year.” One girl named Bea explained to their lunch table. “I know because my sister had Professor Henry. She said that he prepares you up to a certain point and then he expects you to do the rest of the preparing yourself. That’s why he gives us those tough review quizzes. He’s subtly telling us that the exam is going to be a lot harder than we think.”

“That’s stupid,”

“Yeah, that’s not fair!”

Ginny would laugh and smirk at everyone’s comments about the math exam. Once she snickered too loud, everyone looked over at her and glared.

“Just because you seem to think that you know it all, doesn’t mean that you should rub it in all of our faces.” Bea snarled. “Ginny, you should be studying, too. I believe every word my sister says. The test is going to be a lot harder than any of us has ever imagined. That includes you.”

“No,” Ginny chuckled, “I’m sure I’ll be fine.”

The bell rang to end the lunch period and Ginny stood up from the table. She smiled at all her classmates.

“If any one of you thinks you’ll need some extra help, I’ll be available to tutor you.” Ginny thought it was a nice gesture, but her classmates didn’t seem to think so. They assumed she was just rubbing it in again.

Ginny walked away with a smile on her face. She didn’t realize it, but maybe she was rubbing it all in.

A week later, it was time for the exam. Professor Henry passed out a large packet of math problem. Ginny stared at the packet in horror flipping through all the pages. She knew the exam was going to be big, but she didn’t expect it to be this big. Some of the pages only had one problem on it because the entire page was going to be needed to show work on how they found the answer.

Ginny looked around at her classmates and she was relieved to see that they all had the same expressions on their faces. They were all flipping through the pages looking at what kind of questions were going to be expected of them to know. Ginny shrugged her shoulders and closed the packet to the first page again. She folded her hands on her desk and waited confidently for Professor Henry to give them the okay to start.

“Now as you all can see,” Professor Henry paced at the front of the room, “the exam is rather large. That is why I decided that whatever questions you do not finish or get to, will not be counted against you. However, keep in mind that the less questions you do, the more points they’re worth.

“For example, if you only get to ten questions that mean each of those questions are worth ten points in order to add up to 100. If you get five out of those ten questions wrong, then you have a 50 on the exam and you fail. Does everyone understand?” Professor Henry stopped pacing and looked around the classroom.

Ginny too looked around the classroom with confidence. She chuckled to herself as all her classmates looked as though they were panicking on the inside.

“Wonderful,” Professor Henry stated with no emotion, “begin.”

Ginny looked down at the math packet and read the first question. She paused and her eyes widened. She had no idea what the question was asking her to do. She lifted her head and gazed around the room. Every single one of her classmates had their pencils moving. They seemed to know what they were doing, or they had an idea of what they were supposed to bed doing.

Ginny shook her head and tried not to panic right away like the rest of her classmates. She skipped the first question and looked down at the second question on the paper. She swallowed a large lump in her throat upon realizing that she had no idea what that question was asking, either.

I have an idea, she thought to herself.

Ginny flipped to the back of the packet and looked at the last question. Professor Henry tended to make each question harder as the tests went on. Maybe if she started with the hardest one and made her way to the easy questions, the information would come back to her and she would be able to do each question without a problem.

However, she had no idea what the last question was asking of her, either.

Ginny leaned back in her chair and glanced up at the clock. Five minutes have all ready passed by. She all ready wasted five minutes and she didn’t even start one question, yet. She didn’t even pick a question to start working on. She looked around the room once more and noticed that everyone was still scribbling away in their own packets. Some seemed to be on the same question and others seemed to have moved onto the next one.

Ginny sighed and looked back at the very first question once more. She put her pencil on the paper and took a deep breath.

Here goes nothing.

TTFN & L8R, G8R by Lauren Myracle

Via Goodreads
Via Goodreads
Summary (from Goodreads):

After everything they’ve been through together, Angela, Maddie, and Zoe know they’ll be friends till the end–but sometimes the fates (or parents) have other plans.
With sophomore year and its troubles behind them, the winsome threesome is on cruise control, enjoying the well-earned perks of being sixteen. But then Angela (SnowAngel) gets some seriously bad family news :'( that threatens to change her life forever. On top of that, Maddie (mad maddie) decides to let loose her wild side 😛 and Zoe (zoegirl) struggles to keep a big secret from Angela :O. Will junior year pull the girls apart just when they need each other most? Only their instant messages reveal the full story…

I have to say that I enjoyed TTFN more than I enjoyed the first book, TTYL.

I was used to how the three main girls acted and I also felt as though the troubles they faced this time around were more realistic.

One of the main girls moves far, far away and of course it’s a big deal. Who would want to leave in the middle of their junior year of high school across the country leaving their hometown and best friends? The worst part was that the move was due to her father losing his job. So the move just added on more stress.

This was a great tale of how the three girls stuck together even though they were so far away from each other. There were great lessons to be learned as they were all still there for each other miles away.

TTFN by Lauren Myracle gets 4 out of 5 stars.

Favorite Quote:

“mad maddie: on every single sitcom in the world, this is how problems start. some idiot plays dumb and doesn’t tell someone else what’s really going on, and then there’s mass confusion and mistaken assumptions and everything ends in chaos.” –Lauren Myracle, TTFN

Via Goodreads
Via Goodreads
Summary (from Goodreads):

Angela, Zoe and Maddie are finally seniors and ready for the great year they deserve. After two years of fighting, experimentation and some hilarious stories, they are prepared to enjoy the fruits of seniority – even though being top dogs at school means thinking about college, sex and even the impending end of their inseparable trio.

This is the third book in the Internet Girls series and I have to say that it hit home for me.

Angela, Zoe, and Maddie are seniors in high school and are dealing with the stresses of applying to colleges, getting accepted, and–the worst part–being apart from each other in different states.

One thing I didn’t enjoy in the book was that the three girls were at “war” with a girl named Jana in their class. They play pranks on her and she retaliates for most of their senior year. It took bullying to a whole new level and I felt like seniors shouldn’t be acting like that.

They also deal with what most 18-year-olds deal with: relationships. Zoe finds true love, Maddie stumbles upon it, and Angela realizes she doesn’t need a man to complete… someday her prince will come.

Ultimately, this book dealt with friendship and how truly important it is.

L8R, G8R by Lauren Myracle gets 4 out of 5 stars.

Favorite Quote:

“we’re our own destiny, that’s all. and 1 day we WILL be gone, so we better appreciate life while we can.” –Lauren Myracle, l8r, g8r

Check out my Goodreads page to see what I’ll be reading next!

Problems with Protagonists

Last Saturday I had another meeting with my writing group. Two people couldn’t make it which meant that I was critiqued by four people this month.

Many of you know I’m working on a mystery series titled George Florence. It was originally called Detective Florence and decided to change it.

Everyone in my group seems to enjoy the novel really well so far. I’m happy with it and I’m happy with the feedback they’ve given me, both good and bad.

Now, before I explain my problem, I have to say that I’ve been thinking about making some changes to my novel. One, I’ve been rethinking the POV. Right now it’s in first person with George as the narrator since he’s the protagonist. The more I write this series (three books written so far) the more I wonder if it should be third person limited.

Why? I’m not entirely sure. But if I’m thinking this then somewhere in the back of my mind must have some good reason, right? It wouldn’t hurt to try, right?

Okay, now I’ll explain my problem…

No one in my writing group really likes George. They all love and adorable Lilah, who is the female protagonist, but George is the main-main character… and they think he’s a wuss.

As sad as I am to admit, I agree with them. George does not have the personality I originally intended for him to have.

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Via Pinterest

George has been a character in my mind for years. I first thought of him while writing in a notebook at Barnes & Noble with my sister. I had about 40 or so pages written. The plot was different, the characters were different, the setting was different… the only thing that remained true over the years was George and the title. Lilah wasn’t even a sparkle in my eye at that time.

For an experienced detective, George certainly should not be acting the way he does. Lilah takes charge, she’s bossy, she knows what she’s doing–when she probably shouldn’t.

I told them I knew George needed to be flushed out more. I told them I was thinking of changing the POV. I also told them that Lilah seems to have squeezed her way through and started taking over the story without my consent.

Their advice? Screw George. Write Lilah’s story.

The group coordinator brought up a good point and told me that if Lilah is itching to be told, then she needs her own story as soon as possible. This is Lilah’s way of telling me that she needs to be the lead on a story.

We all know that its the characters who write the story, not the author, so when he said this I completely understood and agreed with him.

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Via Pinterest

The problem is… I feel like I’m cheating on George. Of course, he would still be in the story. He would still be the detective. The plot, characters, setting, etc. would be the same. It would just be from Lilah’s point of view.

So, here are my options:

1. Keep editing and revising until George strengthens and grows against his will
2. Rewrite story in third person with George as main character… see if that makes a difference
3. Rewrite story in first person with Lilah leading the way
4. Rewrite story in third person with Lilah in the lead

Four options… doesn’t seem like much, but it’s a lot to take in.

George Florence is the fifth novel I’ve completed, but the first one I’ve ever been truly serious about. It’s hard trying to figure out what’s best for the novel.

The novel is already written has been edited before. The draft I’ve been sending my group is the second draft. I’ll probably keep sending them the next parts of this draft like nothing happened. Maybe George will seem like he improves throughout the story.

In the meantime, I will try to rewrite the first part with Lilah in charge. Depending on how well that turns out, then the novel may get a huge makeover.

It’s especially troublesome because I love George, even though he didn’t come out as planned. I feel bad kicking him to main male instead of main protagonist. But ultimately it comes down to this question: how can I expect to sell a novel with a protagonist no one likes?

What are your thoughts on this: has this ever happened to you? What do you think I should do?

Six On The Sixth #5: Mom

Six on Sixth Mom

Chauffeur

Driving to activities and friends’ houses.

Teacher

Helping with homework late at night.

Therapist

Listening to problems and giving advice.

Nurse

Kissing every physical and emotional bruise.

Friend

Supporting me in everything I do.

Mother

That’s why my mom is best.