Friday, February 18, 2011

Reviews I Owe My Readers

Edited 17 April 2013.
I shall cross these off as I finish them.

Okay, since the characters in my head won't shut up*, I'm not able to write a review for y'all at the moment. But I don't want y'all to think I've forgotten you.

So, for now, I'm making a list of the reviews I owe you guys. I'll get them done as soon as possible.
  • Personal Demons - Lisa Desrochers - Posted 5 March

  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl - Posted 8 March!

  • The Virtual Life of Fizzy Oceans - David A. Ross - Posted 10 March 2011

  • Make Me Remember - Emma Petersen - Posted 11 March 2011

  • An Unquiet Mind - Kay Redfield Jamison

  • Taking Charge of Your Fertility - Toni Weschler

  • Lament - Maggie Stiefvater

  • Beautiful Darkness - Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

  • Phaidon Guide to Antique Weapons and Armor - Robert Wilkinson-Latham - Posted 4 March

  • Kiss at Your Own Risk - Stephanie Rowe

  • A Victorian Rose - Catherine Palmer

  • The Black Widow Trainer: An Erotic Adventure Novel - Craig Odanovich**

  • Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter - Seth Grahame-Smith

I am not making any promises that these reviews will be done in the above order. Nor am I giving a definite timeline. I've been having too much trouble with my own writing for that.

* Yay! I'm writing again!

** You may have noticed this title does not yet have a rating. I'm saving that for the review. Once the review goes up, I'll edit the Recently Read section on the right to reflect it.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Laura Kreitzer Talks About Human Trafficking

Hello Literary-Folk!

My name is Laura Kreitzer, and I’m the author of the Timeless Series and the Summer Chronicles. This week I would like to alert everyone on a colossal crisis that’s gone unnoticed in the world: human trafficking. That’s why I’ve asked hundreds of blogs to be involved with spreading the word on this issue that’s become close to my heart.

As an author, and someone whose life is put in the spotlight, I keep most people at a distance. Only a handful of my friends know the whole me and the events from my past. But this week I’d like to share with you a part of myself that the outside world doesn’t see (and a part of me I don’t like to share). I was emotionally abused for five years by someone I thought loved me, my mind beaten into submission. Though the turmoil I went through doesn’t penetrate as deep as someone forced into slavery on the worldwide market for human trafficking, I can sadly relate in some ways: imprisoned, my life dictated down to what I wore, ate, where I went, whom I spoke to, where I worked, when I slept, bending to his every whim. He did not sway, even when I cried through some of the more traumatic things he had me do. I was a slave in my own home. In my desperation for freedom, I held out a gun and asked him to just end my suffering. I was desperate.

I can’t even imagine how many women (and men) in the world are in a similar situation. What’s even worse, I had it mild compared to the children that are sold for labor or sex. Surprisingly, the good ol’ U.S.A. is reported to be the host to two million slaves. Did you know this? Because I certainly did not; not until I was preparing to write my newest novel: Phantom Universe. The main character, Summer Waverly, was stolen as a child and sold as a slave to the captain of a modern-day pirate ship. From a loved child who only knew “time-out” as punishment, to being whipped into silence was something I knew nothing about. So I researched deeply into human trafficking and the psychological effects of torture of various types that one would endure in these circumstances. I felt shaken at my findings and knew I had to tell Summer’s story. (Read a sneak peek here.)

A storm began to brew in my mind; transforming, morphing, twisting, and expanding into this massive, black cloud. I had to bring this tragic atrocity to the forefront. My own emotional experiences, mixed with the research I did on human trafficking, made me feel an intense connection with Summer, and to all women who’ve been through this kind of brutality. The cloud ruptured and rained all over my computer one day. It took one month to write Phantom Universe, the first in the Summer Chronicles. I was so consumed by the story that I wrote nearly nonstop, only breaking for necessary tasks like eating, showering, and occasionally—very occasionally—sleeping.

Though the book I’ve written would be classified as Science Fiction, or as I’d like to call it, Dystopian, the emotions and psychological aspects are not Science Fiction—they're real. Reviewers have said many amazing things about Summer, this character who is so real in my mind and who I cried along with as the words poured from my soul onto my screen.
“I admired Summer's strength and ability to adapt,” says CiCi’s Theories. “I felt tied to her emotions,” Jennifer Murgia, author or Angel Star admits. And Tahlia Newland, author of Lethal Inheritance, remarks, “Summer is strong and smart in mind [. . .]”

Through her overwhelmingly horrendous past, Summer goes on more than just a physical journey in Phantom Universe, she goes on a psychological one as well; growing beyond her mute state to persevere and survive in a new world beyond the whip she’s so frightened of.

Now that the release date is here, I’m excited and terrified to share this story with everyone. I’m emotionally tied in every way to the words I’ve written, because they’re more than words. More than just a story on a page. Beyond the fictional aspects, there’s a real issue that needs to be addressed: human trafficking must be stopped. We shouldn’t sit idly by while this continues to plague us. Our world’s children—our nation’s children—are being affected. It’s time we take action!

Earlier this month Phantom Universe hit Barnes and Noble’s top 100 Best Selling list. I’ve decided to donate 10% of my sales from Phantom Universe, until the end of February, to the DNA Foundation.
“DNA hopes to help abolish modern day slavery, deter perpetrators, and free the many innocent and exploited victims. We are committed to forcing sex slavery out of the shadows and into the spotlight.

Freedom is a basic human right and slavery is one of the greatest threats to that freedom. No one has the right to enslave another person.”

—From DNA Foundation’s Website

I ask that you spread the word to everyone you know. Look around on the DNA Foundation website and find a way to get involved in ending human trafficking. Take action today. Everyone has a voice—you have a voice. Will you have the courage to use it?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

My First Ever Guest Post!

I'm not guest-blogging somewhere; I have a guest post for my blog! ^_^

Tomorrow, Thursday the 17th of February, Laura Kreitzer will be talking about an important cause featured in her unpoming book, Phantom Universe.

While I have not yet read any of Miss Kreitzer's books, I do follow her on Twitter. I've read all the writing advice (and everything else) on her website.

I look up to her as a writer.

I value her as a friend, even though we may never meet. :(

And I am super excited to have a guest post from her! ^_^

Waiting on Wednesday: The Liar Society

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

My choice for the week:

The Liar Society
Lisa and Laura Roecker

There's something heartwarming about a pair of sisters writing books together...

From Goodreads:

Kate Lowry didn’t think dead best friends could send e-mails. But when she gets an e-mail from Grace, who died mysteriously a year before, she’s not so sure. When the emails continue, Kate is forced to confront her school’s resident druggie, a sketchy administrator, and even her own demons.

As Kate moves closer and closer to the truth, she teams up with a couple of knights-in-(not so)shining armor–the dangerously attractive, bad boy, Liam and her love-struck neighbor, Seth. The three uncover an ancient secret lurking in the halls of their elite private school with the power to destroy them all.

But the truth doesn’t always set you free. Sometimes it’s only the beginning.

From the advance reviews (okay, review) I've seen, this book is every bit as good as it sounds. Also, it's a YA mystery novel! I adore mysteries and haven't seen many in the YA section recently.

Love the pink hair on the cover model. ^_^

Release Date: 8 March 2011

You can download the first chapter of the book from the book's website.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Excuses, Excuses...

I had such high hopes for myself and this blog this year. Then life happened. Now, I'm insanely far behind. I've got 8 or 9 reviews to write (I can't even remember, that's how behind I am.)

Why did I get so far behind? Here's the list:

1) Ginger, the female lab/beagle mix dog, I took to Bark for Life last year died. Of cancer. Ironic, huh? Also sad and sucky.

2) I had a hiccup with my unemployment. It looked like I might not get any more, which would mean we'd have to cut off the internet. That took almost two weeks to straighten out.

I know there were more reasons, but I can't remember them right now. I'm too tired to be doing this, but it had to be done. I've been putting it off for about a week already.

I am such a terrible procrastinator.

I'm going to give this blogging thing another try. Just as soon as I get some sleep.