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Books that need more Love

I've read my fair share of books. This year alone I've managed to finish 55, and it's still early November. I know that for some people, that's a very, very small amount. For me, it's probably the most I've ever read in 10 months. So to keep this simple, I wanted to do a post about some of the books I've read that I think more people should be reading.

First off, Tempest Rising by Tracy Deebs.
Tempest Maguire wants nothing more than to surf the killer waves near her California home; continue her steady relationship with her boyfriend, Mark; and take care of her brothers and surfer dad. But Tempest is half mermaid, and as her seventeenth birthday approaches, she will have to decide whether to remain on land or give herself to the ocean like her mother. The pull of the water becomes as insistent as her attraction to Kai, a gorgeous surfer whose uncanny abilities hint at an otherworldly identity as well. And when Tempest does finally give in to the water's temptation and enters a fantastical underwater world, she finds that a larger destiny awaits her-and that the entire ocean's future hangs in the balance.

It's got Mermaids and Selkies, what's not to love? Okay, maybe that isn't enough of a reason for everyone, but it's why I read it. Mermaid obsession, right here.
Also, Tempest is a fantastic protagonist. Not a Mary Sue or TSTL, which is what too many YA protagonists are these days. She doesn't need a boyfriend to be herself. She's a strong individual.

Then there's Sweetly, by Jackson Pearce.
Twelve years ago, Gretchen, her twin sister, and her brother went looking for a witch in the forest. They found something. Maybe it was a witch, maybe a monster, they aren’t sure—they were running too fast to tell. Either way, Gretchen’s twin sister was never seen again.

It's a companion of Sisters Red, another book I read in 2010 that I adored. Jackson Pearce is an author that can write no wrong, in my opinion, and I'm already eagerly waiting for Fathomless, the third companion in the series (about mermaids!). And by companion, I mean that the books are in the same universe, but do not have any characters (besides the Fenris) that actually cross over into the other stories.
This one in particular is a re-telling of Hansel and Gretel,

The book I'm fan girl all over the most is Shadowfever, by Karen Marie Moning.

Instead of putting the plot for the 5th and final book here, I'm going to paste the first book, Darkfever below:

MacKayla Lane’s life is good. She has great friends, a decent job, and a car that breaks down only every other week or so. In other words, she’s your perfectly ordinary twenty-first-century woman. Or so she thinks…until something extraordinary happens.

When her sister is murdered, leaving a single clue to her death–a cryptic message on Mac’s cell phone–Mac journeys to Ireland in search  of answers. The quest to find her sister’s killer draws her into a shadowy realm where nothing is as it seems, where good and evil wear the same treacherously seductive mask. She is soon faced with an even greater challenge: staying alive long enough to learn how to handle a power she had no idea she possessed–a gift that allows her to see beyond the world of man, into the dangerous realm of the Fae….

As Mac delves deeper into the mystery of her sister’s death, her every move is shadowed by the dark, mysterious Jericho, a man with no  past and only mockery for a future. As she begins to close in on the truth, the ruthless Vlane–an alpha Fae who makes sex an addiction for human women–closes in on her. And as the boundary between worlds begins to crumble, Mac’s true mission becomes clear: find the  elusive Sinsar Dubh before someone else claims the all-powerful Dark Book–because whoever gets to it first holds nothing less than  complete control of the very fabric of both worlds in their hands….


Two words: Jericho Barrons. That is the only explanation necessary as to why this book should be read. Seriously. That's pretty much all a friend of mine told me and this is by far my favourite adult series. It's got mystery and adventure and a whole lot of plot twists that I could never guess.

There's a ton more books that I've read and loved, like Across the Universe by Beth Revis.
Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that  she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.

Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone - one of the few thousand inhabitants of the  spaceship - tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn't do something soon, her parents will be next.

Now, Amy must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there's only one who matters: Elder, the  future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.


Maybe I'm a little biased because I've met Beth Revis and think she's one of the coolest people ever, but her book speaks for itself. Murder mystery in space. Very, very fun book that I had trouble putting down.



Unearthly by Cynthia Hand is another book I like to pick up every once and awhile and just read random pages from.
In the beginning, there's a boy standing in the trees . . . .
Clara Gardner has recently learned that she's part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn't easy.
Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place—and out of place at the same time. Because there's another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara's less angelic side.
As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she'd have to make—between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?
Unearthly is a moving tale of love and fate, and the struggle between following the rules and following your heart.


For some unknown reason I've come to love books with angels in them. I can't seem to figure the explanation as to why. This book really scratches my itch for angels in all the right ways. There's cute boys, a smart protagonist, and a satisfying end with two sequels to come.

Another adult series I am a big fan of is the Mercy Thompson books, particularily  River Marked by Patricia Briggs.

Being book 6 in this series, I'll paste the blurb of the first book, Moon Called, below:

Werewolves can be dangerous if you get in their way, but they'll leave you alone if you are careful. They are very good at hiding their natures from the human population, but I'm not human. I know them when I meet them, and they know me, too.

Mercy Thompson's sexy next-door neighbor is a werewolf.

She's tinkering with a VW bus at her mechanic shop that happens to belong to a vampire.

But then, Mercy Thompson is not exactly normal herself ... and her connection to the world of things that go bump in the night is about to get her into a whole lot of trouble.


I really do like strong female characters. I like it when they can bleed and not complain and be flirty without being slutty. Mercy is fantastic. Plain and simple. The only thing that I wish is that book 7 would come out next year, instead of 2013.


And the last book The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong.
Sixteen-year-old Maya is just an ordinary teen in an ordinary town. Sure, she doesn't know much about her background - the only thing she really has to cling to is an odd paw-print birthmark on her hip - but she never really put much thought into who her parents were or how she ended up with her adopted parents in this tiny medical-research community on Vancouver Island.

Until now.

Strange things have been happening in this claustrophobic town - from the mountain lions that have been approaching Maya to her best friend's hidden talent for "feeling" out people and situations, to the sexy new bad boy who makes Maya feel . . . . different. Combine that with a few unexplained deaths and a mystery involving Maya's biological parents and it's easy to suspect that this town might have more than its share of skeletons in its closet.


OMG! This is set in Canada! And even better, Vancouver Island, somewhere I have actually been to. Okay, not a good enough reason to love a book, but I felt like I could connect way better to Maya because I could picture a lot of the places she was describing and knew what she was talking about when describing Canadian customs. I've also met Kelley Armstrong, a fellow Canadian, and she's the bomb. Very nice, very fun. And I have a signed copy of this book!

So there's a list of books I've read and loved this year. 7/55 isn't great, but that doesn't mean the others that I've read are terrible (though a couple are). Maybe I can squeeze in another 5 or 6 books before 2012.

Happy reading!

The Book I'm most Thankful for

I'm sure there are hundreds of other people who will say this is the book they are most thankful for, and really, I can see why.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

It was a book that I waited years for. A series that I grew up with. Characters that I loved and still love. How could I not be grateful for this book? It had everything I wanted; action, adventure, romance, comedy. Everything.

And why am I most grateful for this book? It led me down the path to many, many more amazing books that I hold dear. I wouldn't have found out about so many other amazing books if I hadn't read all the Harry Potter books because these books are what made me want to read. Now that there are no more HP books or movies, I yearn to find the next thing that will make me laugh and cry as much as HP7 did. I may never find anything greater (in my opinion) but I don't want to, either.

Yup, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is the book I'm most thankful for, and will never be ashamed to say so.




Beth Revis is hosting an amazing contest, so check out her blog, http://bethrevis.blogspot.com.


Rejection

Rejection sucks. I've been querying since June and I've certainly hit a lot of rejection (and no replies). I finally had an agent read my manuscript and I was good at keeping myself from being overly hopeful--even though I had some wishful thinking. I got another pass today and instead of giving up on my manuscript, which I am sorely tempted to do, I'm going to do the harder task of revamping the entire novel. I've printed it out and am getting my red marker ready to make a lot more changes.

It's been over a year since I started writing my manuscript, and I finished the original draft in January. I know my writing has gotten better. Writing always gets better. Yet, it feels like going back to square one. I've got a full manuscript, but the possibilities for change are endless. Maybe in another month or two I will begin to search for an agent again, until then, it's going to be focusing solely on getting better as a writer and a story teller. And reading. I'm always going to be reading.

Canada!

Happy Canada Day to all!
These are geese! And I didn't feel like finding a picture of a Canadian flag, so you get these birds instead. If I weren't so lazy, I would also go and look for some cool facts about Canada, but alas, this is all I got:


How did Canada get its name?
Some letters were thrown in a bag, and the first one to be picked was 'C' eh?, then 'N' eh? and finally 'D' eh?

Yeah, not the greatest joke, but still funny!

Oh! And check out this video, this is what it takes to be Canadian:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWQf13B8epw&feature=feedlik

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Querying

After much work I finished not only my manuscript,  but my query letter and 3 page summary.

I think writing a summary is by far the most difficult part in the writing process. Why? Because it is so much like writing an essay. It needs to be persuasive, informative, to the point, and give enough information to catch and keep the reader's interest.

So I submitted to my first-ever agent and I know it's only one, but it's the very first and I'm a mix of scared and excited. I'm smart enough to not get my hopes up too high (I get that mostly everyone goes through dozens upon dozens of rejection letters, but still there's the small hope I won't have to go through a hundred) but I really want to find a place for my book this year.

That's it for now, since I need to do a ton of research on agents and publishing houses now. 1 submission is a good start, but I need to submit more.

Toodles!

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Alison
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