Flake-out Friday–Show and Tell

There’s a ton of books out there, people. (I know, I know, understatement of the century, right?) It can be hard to know which books to read and in what order. I rely, in part, on recommendations from my writerly buddies.

Lately, I’ve been reading a combination of traditionally pubbed novels and indie pubbed novels. Most recently, I’ve read TRANSCEND, by Christine Fonseca, THE NAME OF THE STAR, by Maureen Johnson, TO RIDE A PUCA, by Heather McCorkle, and TIMEPIECE, by Myra McEntire.

ALL FABULOUS BOOKS! I’d recommend each and every one of them.

How about you, friends? What books have you read recently that you’d recommend? Please list them in the comments!

Happy reading!

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Mental Health Monday–Featuring Transcend by Christine Fonseca

Accurately capturing and portraying psychosis is extremely difficult. In cinema, you can use special effects, sound effects, even CGI graphics to crate hallucinations and altered perceptions.

But how does one do it via writing?

I think a fantastic example of a character’s descent into madness is TRANSCEND by Christine Fonseca. Described as Phantom of the Opera meets Black Swan, this dark, YA, (and I’d add historical) novel takes the reader on a roller coaster ride of emotion, intrigue, betrayal, paranoia, delusion, love, horror, tragedy, and rage.

It’s an intense, quick read, just by its nature–Christine doesn’t let you take a breath! 😉

A unique twist is the alternating point of view–FOR ONE CHARACTER! It’s a bit jarring, but I suspect that’s the author’s intention to keep the reader guessing.

What’s most captivating about it to me is that even after I finished reading it, I still had more questions.

Check out Christine Fonseca’s blog HERE.

What books have you read that capture mental illness particularly well?

If you have a character that needs “shrink-wrapping,” don’t hesitate to ask me a question, here in the comments, on Twitter (see sidebar), Facebook (see sidebar), or email me @ laurabdiamond@yahoo.com.

Remember, these posts are for writing purposes only and are NOT intended for medical advice or treatment.

INDIEpendence Day Is Coming Up!

The Indelibles are hosting an INDIEpendence Day blog hop (July 2-5) celebrating Indie authors. Lots of bloggers have signed up, so be sure to see who they’re highlighting as their favorite indie author.

I’ve got THREE indie authors that I look up to…mainly because of their great writing AND their perseverence to keep going NO MATTER WHAT!

Kendall Gray

She is the author of the JUST BREATHE series. It’s FAB!!!!!! The characters are hot, the scenes are hot, the action is…well, it’s hot. Seriously though, Kendall weaves together an intricate plot flawlessly while developing unique, fallible, and breathtaking characters. (Pun INtended.)

February Grace

She is the author of GODSPEED, a steampunk romance. I love the tone of Bru’s writing. It really creates an irresistible “mood.” I could totally picture myself being THERE with the characters. Actually, I’d kind of like to hang out with them sometime.

Christine Fonseca

She is the author of the Requiem series. I “met” Christine a while back and she’s helped me improve my writing by leaps and bounds. I love the TENSION Christine creates in her writing. She just doesn’t LET IT GO! Makes me literally feel what the characters feel.

NICE JOB, LADIES!!!!!!!

Who’s your favorite indie author?

Author Christine Fonseca Guest Post

I’m so excited to be here with Laura for Day 3 of the blog tour for the launch of my debut novel, LACRIMOSA. Laura was one of the first to read this book forever ago, so I was thrilled when she indicated that she wanted to be part of the tour fun.

For this post, we both thought it would be EPIC to bring a special interview with Nesy and one of Laura’s characters, Justin. Take it away Justin –

Justin [adds another log onto the fire and rubs his arms]: Sorry, it gets cold at night in the mountains. I want to thank you for traveling here to meet with me. Smith is keeping watch, but we’ll have to talk fast…just in case, you know, the Vie ambush us. [laughs nervously] Then again, I guess you know about surprise attacks and fighting and stuff. What is it that you do again?

Nesy: Without giving too much away, I’m a warrior of sorts. Most similar to your Samurai of the pre-industrial Japan, I think. Just thinking of me as a bad-ass with a sword 😉

Justin: That’s awesome! I wish I knew sword fighting…though I am pretty handy with a Taser and a stake. [wry grin] So, what’s it like to keep your identity secret? I mean, I have this tattoo that tells everyone what I am—an Anemie—so I can’t hide it, but you, I can’t tell what you are. So cool.

Nesy: I’m fortunate because I can hide in plain site most of the time. People don’t often think of pretty teenage girls as hardened warriors, which helps. A lot. Still, most of the things I battle against can see through my disguises, so I have to be vigilant and careful.

Justin: [clears throat] I wanted to ask you…have you ever lost something so important you’d give your life for? My sister, Sammie, was kidnapped by the Vie, and I have to get her back…I’m just not sure how to do it. And I kind of feel like an idiot hiding in the forest, but…I don’t have weapons like you and we don’t have a strong enough army to take down the Vie. Do you have an army?

Nesy: [deep sigh] I’ve lost many things. Important things. I have never been one to hide if someone I [cough] “love” is in danger, army or not. Of course, I have training you do not possess. Have you ever considered asking for help in some way? I mean, through your prayers, I guess you’d call them. You never know, maybe help will come. Especially against the forces of evil.

Justin: Um, yeah, I don’t know. The closest I got to praying was when I had to join a cult for safety. Not something I like to remember. [shudders] Okay, one last question. What’s it like where you’re from…Celestium, right?

Nesy: Yes, my home is Celestium. And it is beautiful. Colors – indigo, emerald, ruby, and gold, seem to fill the sky, glistening off of the towers and citadels that make up my world. It is like nothing you have seen other than in your dreams. There is a calm, a peace, I long for, especially when I have been away for long periods of time.

Justin: Cool. Sounds like an awesome place. Way better than here. I wish I could bring Sammie there. Maybe someday, right?

Nesy: Oh, I have a feeling you will both come to know it one day.

Justin: Thanks for meeting me. Good luck with your mission. I hope to see you again.

Nesy: You will Justin. You will.

*****

Such a great interview! Thank you to Laura and Justin.

Ready for the last part of my reading of Chapter 1? Be sure to check out Michelle’s post on Operation Awesome tomorrow. And be certain to check out the entire schedule for the tour here – there are special giveaways throughout the tour…

including the EPIC Nesy Prize pack filled with her favorite things:

Just complete this form.

You can enter up to twice daily (through the tour and my blog).

And there’s more – collect the daily clues to enter the EPIC grand prize giveaway that includes books, swag and a special surprise.

Today’s clue – DUTY

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.

Kindle buy link– http://www.amazon.com/Lacrimosa-Requiem-Series-ebook/dp/B007HEVTS4

Nook buy link – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/lacrimosa-christine-fonseca/1109329729?ean=2940013923256

Additional Titles in the series include DIES IRAE (a Requiem Novella), LIBERA ME (Oct 2012) and REQUIEM (March 2013).

The book trailer can be seen by linking to YouTube – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AwTQoOFKEZg


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. Her nonfiction titles include 101 SUCCESS SECRETS FOR GIFTED KIDS and EMOTIONAL INTENSITY IN GIFTED STUDENTS.

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.

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

I totally enjoyed this book when I first read it and I can’t wait to read it again!!!! CONGRATS, CHRISTINE!!!!!!! *hugs*

Check out Sarah’s response (today), then Lydia’s response (next week) to the Sisterhood of the Traveling Blog topic of: Prologues–Love ’em or hate ’em?

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.

Flake-out Friday–DIES IRAE by Christine Fonseca, A Review

Non-fiction author, blogger, and writing buddy, Christine Fonseca’s novella, DIES IRAE recently hit electronic bookshelves.

And I hope it goes viral!

Seriously, this little novella packs a punch! Every page drips with intrigue, tension, bittersweet agony, and danger. It’s TOTALLY worth the read!

Be sure to stop by tomorrow for a guest post from Christine regarding Novella Versus Novel Writing.

DIES IRAE Product Description from Amazon:

Some sacrifices should never be made—even for love.

Mikayel lives by one rule—obey the orders of the angelic Council at all costs. That is, until he and his friends, Azza and Demi, are sent to Earth. Assigned as Watchers while they await their decision of which angelic order to serve, the three assume the bodies of teenagers and experience life as human.

The sensations are overwhelming as the angels experience a host of human emotions—rage, terror, love—and come ever closer to breaking one of the unbreakable rules—never fall in love.

But 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; a peace Azza seems bent on destroying.

Caught in a struggle for power with unseen demonic forces and Azza, and fighting against his rising emotional attachment to Demi, Mikayel must now decide how much he is willing to sacrifice for his new found love—a decision that could reignite an ancient war and will threaten the only thing that matters to the angels, the survival of humanity.

Impromptu Schedule Change

Hey gang.

This week I’m altering the schedule of posts. There’s a lot of news about covers and debut novellas coming out, so I hopped on the bandwagon and helped my writerly buds share their exciting news!

Tomorrow 2/7 (Tuesday), is the reveal of Lynn Rush’s second novel in her Wasteland series, AWAITED. It’s awesome, so be sure to pop back over tomorrow to check it out!

I’m skipping Wednesday.

Friday 2/10, I’ll share my review of Christine Fonseca’s debut novella DIES IRAE.

Saturday 2/11, Christine will share her experience of writing novellas and novels, two very different beasts.

Enjoy!