LORE Review Tour

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Xpresso Book Tours is hosting a review tour this week for LORE: TALES OF MYTH AND LEGEND RETOLD. If you haven’t heard about this fantastic YA/NA anthology of myth retellings, check out this awesome tour. Be sure to click the link every day this week to see who’s reviewing LORE and what their impressions are.

THERE’S A GIVEAWAY TOO!!!!!! (You could win 1 of 2 B&N gift cards and swag from some of the authors.) 😉

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I’d also like to give a huge THANKS to all the folks who took the time to read and review LORE. *hugs*

My novella, SUNSET MOON is about a snarky delinquent, Eloise, and how she gets reacquainted with her Native American roots.

Description: Eloise doesn’t believe in Native American magic–until the dreamcatcher spiders spin her down an unknown path.

Here’s an excerpt:

Eloise doesn’t bother sneaking in. Her mom’s probably passed out from drinking anyway.

She pads to her room, flicks on the light, drags the duffle from her bed and lets it slam to the floor. The next nine months of her life are in there, reduced to a few bits of clothing. She kicks off her shoes and wanders to her desk, gaze locked on the photo of Micah and her. Her vision blurs with fresh tears. This was their last night together, and he’s being such an ass. He should be thanking her for what she is doing. So should Jimmy.

She picks up the frame and removes the picture, then carries it to the bathroom. The sour odor of beer clings to her like a heavy reminder of her fight with Micah. She tucks the photo into the wooden mirror frame on the medicine cabinet and turns on the tub faucet.

While the tub fills, she peels off her damp shirt and throws it in the hamper. She tugs off her jeans, then her underwear. Naked, she shivers, though the house is warm, stuffy even, from the mid-summer night’s air.

Her tremors aren’t from being cold. They are from a vacuous emptiness that hollows out her insides, turns her heart to ice, and chips away at her soul with each ragged breath.

She grips the sink with both hands and steadies herself. The gush of water echoes in her ears, sloshes in her skull, and drowns her mind. Her head pounds from the surge of blood coursing through her brain with the rapid beating of her heart. The row of bulbs blazing above the medicine cabinet stabs her in the eyes, coring out her orbits.

It’s too much. She needs something to take the edge off.

Now.

Here’s a couple reviews of SUNSET MOON:

“Sunset Moon: This was my favorite in the bunch. I really liked Eloise – and, of course, her sarcasm – and I was glad her character grew in the end and she strayed from such a destructive path.” ~Goodreads reviewer

“Sunset Moon by Laura Diamond is based off a Blackfeet Indian myth. I really wanted this story to be longer. Eloise, the main character, is a totally stupid twit who is putting up this fake attitude of indifference. She’s in an abusive relationship, just like her mother was years ago. Her mother is a drunk and doesn’t mother Eloise at all. Micah is a useless piece of trash as is Jimmy and here is Eloise taking the fall for two losers. She gets the choice: jail or group home. Her lawyer chose group home for her and she’s shipped off to Montana to her uncle’s house. There she recognizes little symbols from her grandmother who always tried to give her a piece of Blackfeet history/mythology with every present, every lesson. As Eloise begins her group home work of sitting with an elderly patient, she learns that her weird dream with the spiders cocooning her is actually a legend, a living legend. Again, this is one story I would LOVE to read more of and see the story fleshed out in more detail with what happens with Eloise, her mother, her loser of a boyfriend, etc. Sure, I disliked Eloise, but that intensity of dislike shows how well written she is!” ~Barnes and Noble review

 

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Guest Post–DIES IRAE Author Christine Fonseca on Novella vs Novel Writing

Hi Christine!!!! I’m super stoked about the launch of your REQUIEM series with DIES IRAE (novella) and LACRIMOSA (novel). CONGRATS!!!!!!!!!!

Ok, take it away, Christine.

The Differences Between Writing a Novella and Writing a Novel

Thanks, Laura, for having me today. Laura asked me to talk a little about the process of writing a novella vs a novel—the differences, similarities, and my thoughts on both mediums. My first thought on her request—“um, yea, I’m not sure I can adequately write about this.” My next thought—“Duh, you just did this. Of course you can talk about this.”

So, here you go—my opinions about writing these two different types of stories.

When I first decided to write DIES IRAE as a novella, it was because I wasn’t certain there was a full novel-length story in the prequel. My publisher and I also wanted to be able to offer DIES IRAE at an incredible price. As the story was drafted, I realized that while it could absolutely be a novel, the novella format could meet my needs with a few tweeks.

What did I mean by this? To answer that I must first explain what the novella actually is. Strictly speaking, a novella is longer than a novelette and shorter than a novel. It averages 15-40K in length. The storyline is far more complex than a short story, but far less complex than a novel. There are typically less plotlines and less conflict than in a novel, and the story typically ends at the brink of change. Most of the “novels” we were required to read in school—titles like Animal Farm, Of Mice and Men, and The War of the Worlds—are actually novellas. The same is true of some other novels we have come to love—Coraline, A Christmas Carole, and The Metamorphosis.

Now that we have a definition of a novella, how did I go about writing DIES IRAE. Honestly, exactly the same way I write a novel. I stewed on the storyline I wanted to tell, planned out the beats, and started to write. I originally planned on staying with one central plot—the romance between two of the characters. But I failed. Miserably. So, I added back my secondary plot thread as it was THE motivation behind one of the central character’s actions.

As much as the process of drafting and editing a novella was essentially similar to that of a novel, there were some differences that made me work—hard! For one, there was the whole world building, character building piece. There is no room for excess of each, leaving my early drafts a combination of too wordy in some places, and too vague in others. I’m certain it drove my poor beta readers crazy. My edits consisted of pouring over the language over and over and over again, carefully choosing each and every word, each and every scene, each and every cadence. Much like writing poetry, there was no room for lazy language or lazy story telling.

And in truth—there is no room for lazy language or lazy storytelling in ANY form of literature.

All in all, I have discovered a love of both forms of storytelling. And I have no doubt you will be seeing more novelettes, novellas, and novels with this series.

AWESOME!!! I can’t wait to see how the series develops! Thanks so much, Christine, for sharing your thoughts on writing novellas and novels.

Here’s some more information from Christine:

FAQ Sheet about the Requiem Series

About Christine Fonseca

School psychologist by day, critically acclaimed YA and nonfiction author by night, Christine Fonseca believes that writing is a great way to explore humanity. Her debut YA Gothic series, The Requiem Series, including DIES IRAE and LACRIMOSA, examines the role of redemption, sacrifice and love. When she’s not writing or spending time with her family, she can be sipping too many skinny vanilla lattes at her favorite coffee house or playing around on Facebook and Twitter. Catch her daily thoughts about writing and life on her blog.

Short Blurb for DIES IRAE

Some sacrifices should never be made—even for love.

Mikayel lives by one rule—obey the orders of the angelic Council at all costs. But when he and his friends, Azza and Demi, are sent to Earth as teenagers, following the rules is more difficult than they expected.

Being human isn’t the only problem facing the three angels. Unbeknownst to the Council, demonic activity is on the rise, threatening to break a tenuous peace that has existed for a millennia.

Caught in a struggle for power with unseen demonic forces, and fighting against his rising emotional, Mikayel must now decide how many rules he is willing to break to save his friends, a decision that could reignite an ancient war and will threaten the only thing that matters to the angels, the survival of humanity.

Author Endorcement(s):

“Dies Irae is the perfect introduction to Christine Fonseca’s Requiem series. The beauty of the words will tempt you, the tragedy of the story will break you, and the love, woven throughout like music through the trees, will haunt you for days afterward. Dies Irae promises a tale unlike any you’ve read before.”

~Ali Cross, Author of BECOME

Availability:

Publisher: COMPASS PRESS

ISBN:

Format: Digital format only – from Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other retailers. Links not available at present.

Short Blurb for LACRIMOSA

As if casting out demons isn’t hard enough, five-hundred-year-old Nesy has to masquerade as a teenage girl to do it. Nesy is the best of the warrior angels called Sentinals. She never makes mistakes, never hesitates, never gets emotionally involved. Until she meets Aydan.

He is evil incarnate; a fallen angel that feeds off the souls of others. Everything Nesy is supposed to hate. But she can’t, because he’s also the love of her former life as a human girl—a life that ended too soon, tying her to emotions she was never supposed to feel.

Now Nesy must choose between doing her duty—damning Aydan to the fiery depths of hell—or saving him, and condemning herself.

Author Endorcement(s):

“LACRIMOSA reaches out, grabs readers by the heart, and takes them on an emotional journey from the first page to the last. The last novel you’ll need to read to understand true sacrifice.”

~Elana Johnson, Author of POSSESSION

Availability:

Publisher: COMPASS PRESS

ISBN: 0984786368 (ISBN 13: 9780984786367)

Hardback and Digital formats from Amazon, Barnes and Noble and fine retailers. Links not currently available.

Additional Titles in the series include LIBERA ME (Nov 2012) and REQUIEM (March 2013). The book trailer can be seen by linking to YouTube – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AwTQoOFKEZg

For more information about Christine Fonseca or the series, visit her website – http://christinefonseca.com or her blog http://christinefonseca.blogspot.com.

Review of Monarch by Michelle Davidson Argyle

I had the opportunity to review an ARC of Michelle Davidson Argyle’s thriller, MONARCH. Now, I don’t read thrillers ordinarily, but let me tell you, I was drawn into this book from the first page!

The action starts off immediately and Michelle does a great job of keeping the tension going throughout. She does a seamless job of introducing characters and making me care about them without it feeling effortful.

What I liked about Monarch was the alternating POVs. Seeing the plot unfold from different characters’ perspectives added a layer of richness that compounded my “conectedness” to the story line.

Bravo, Michelle!!!! I’ll TOTALLY read your other novels. 🙂

Back Cover Blurb:
Nick’s life as a CIA spy should be fulfilling, but it has only given him unhappiness—a wife who committed suicide, and two daughters who resent everything he has become. Now, stuck in the Amazon on the last mission of his career, he must track down Matheus Ferreira, a drug lord and terrorist the U.S. has tried to bring down for years. If he succeeds, he’ll have the chance to start his life over again.

Just when Nick is on the brink of catching Ferreira, he’s framed for a murder that turns his world upside down. His only chance of survival lies in West Virginia where Lilian Love, a woman from his past, owns the secluded Monarch Inn. He’s safe, but not for long…

** If you’d like a chance to WIN a copy of MONARCH, simply leave a comment on this post. It’d be super cool if you spread the word via Twitter, Facebook, etc. You have until next Wednesday, September 28, 2011 MIDNIGHT EST to enter. I’ll announce a winner next Friday!  **

Click HERE for more information about MONARCH.