Jul 29, 2011

Confessions of a Beta: Jenna

Today I'm handing the ost over to one of my Beta readers, Jenna. A few of these will be popping up shortly.

****

I am a beta reader. As far as I understand, that means I am not in the publishing industry. I really like books. I have a grasp of spelling and grammar. I am very opinionated. I deeply want to help. All of that seems to add up to something my friend can use in her writing life. There are some downsides, like having confusing dreams based off of her half-written books, or developing crushes on quasi-villains, or getting in trouble for not being able to remember the names of secondary characters in any one of the 4-6 books in progress at any given time what is my problem why don't I care?


I love reading a book in progress, but it does get confusing. For example: authorfriend had begun a story in which she fiddled with point-of-view. She had written several chapters, then stalled out and shelved it. A few months later she brought it back out to rework it, which she then did. . .maybe another three times. I read each incarnation. Then we would discuss the newest chapter she had sent me, looking for slow spots or bits that made no sense. The problem was that I had four or five versions of the book in my mind, while she had just the one - the right one, the one she was currently writing. So I would talk about something that (now) hadn't ever happened. Our conversations include a lot of "wait, what?"

The roughest part for me is being honest. I have to tell a friend if her baby is ugly, frankly. She asks for my honest opinion and however much I don't want to hurt her feelings because she is proud of what she's written (with good reason), I have to tell her if I don't like it or if I think it could be improved, and then in what way it could be improved. I try to be plainspoken without being cruel, and I'm sure she gets more upset by my constant checking if she's okay and not upset. I still like being a beta reader, though. I prefer to be called a Siamese Fighting reader, to be completely honest.

Jul 28, 2011

What I’m reading:

So, at the moment I’m about 70% through Dreadnought by Cherie Priest.

This is the second(or possibly third - Clementine gets confused in there) book in the Clockwork Century series. I bought it with Boneshaker (the first) and took my time between reading them because Cherie Priest is one of those awesom authors who doesn't leave you hanging with the first book's ending.
I'm loving it so far.
The Blurb:

Nurse Mercy Lynch is elbows deep in bloody laundry at a war hospital in Richmond, Virginia, when Clara Barton comes bearing bad news: Mercy’s husband has died in a POW camp. On top of that, a telegram from the west coast declares that her estranged father is gravely injured, and he wishes to see her. Mercy sets out toward the Mississippi River. Once there, she’ll catch a train over the Rockies and—if the telegram can be believed—be greeted in Washington Territory by the sheriff, who will take her to see her father in Seattle.

Reaching the Mississippi is a harrowing adventure by dirigible and rail through war-torn border states. When Mercy finally arrives in St. Louis, the only Tacoma-bound train is pulled by a terrifying Union-operated steam engine called the Dreadnought. Reluctantly, Mercy buys a ticket and climbs aboard.

What ought to be a quiet trip turns deadly when the train is beset by bushwhackers, then vigorously attacked by a band of Rebel soldiers. The train is moving away from battle lines into the vast, unincorporated west, so Mercy can’t imagine why they’re so interested. Perhaps the mysterious cargo secreted in the second and last train cars has something to do with it?

Mercy is just a frustrated nurse who wants to see her father before he dies. But she’ll have to survive both Union intrigue and Confederate opposition if she wants to make it off the Dreadnought alive.



Next on the list:


A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin

Screwing Up Time by C.M. Keller Check out this blogger's site and then go support her by buying her ebook!

Leviathan by Scott Westerfield

A Feast for Crows by George R. R. Martin

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

Jul 27, 2011

Revision Wars 5.0

Anne Kenny was a life saver and helped me by doing a quick crit of my third novel. What has ensued is a major face lift. And thus, I’m deeply entrenched in a new round of revision wars.
One of my Betas, Jenna, has been helping me to brainstorm. The process has been awesome because half the time we’re on two different planes and we end up melding the ideas together to create something that is so awesome… I can’t wait to hand her the finished product and gloat! (Well, I guess it won’t be gloating since she was instrumental in many of the changes.)

How about you? Fighting any wars with your MS lately?

Jul 26, 2011

Review: Catching Fire

Catching Fire
By Suzanne Collins
(Book 2: The Hunger Games Trilogy)

Dystopian YA with a rebellious edge

Hardcover, 391 pages

Published by Scholastic
Released September 1, 2009




My Summary:


Katniss, having survived the games, realizes that her acts of defiance have set a spark to the kindling that is the districts. With threats against everyone she loves, she tries to play President Snow’s game in the hopes it will quiet the unrest. When her charade fools no one, Katniss realizes Snow’s plan to take her out of the picture: she’s returning to the games.

My Review:

The beginning of this novel lacks a coherent plot direction. For the entirety of Part 1, you have absolutely no idea where the plot is going because Katniss spends so much time waffling back and forth and trying to decide what to do.

One again the writing is superb, but the slow plot development in the first third is so annoying it pulled me out of the story entirely. I almost feel that this confusion – having finished the book – was intentional though. Because for most of the book Katniss has no clue what’s going on and is trying to work with what little information she has.

This is another open ended novel, but I can forgive it because it’s a sequel.

Buy, Borrow, Brush Past:

Borrow: I’d get this one from the library, unless you absolutely loved the first novel and are willing to forgive this one’s flaws.



Jul 22, 2011

Blogger Inteview: Cristina Dos Santos


Tell us a little about yourself to start off.


Firstly, thank you so much for having me over here, this is so fun :)
I am a wife to an awesome guy and a mother to two little devils that keep me super busy. When I have a minute to myself during the day, you'll find me reading, reading, reading... and if you are so inclined to wake up before the birds, you'll find me at my kitchen table with a huge cup of coffee working on my first novel.
I'm also a therapist, so I prefer my characters sprinkled with a pinch of crazy.
What else can I tell you.... I have an awesome husband. Wait, did I already tell you that? I have awesome friends. Wine, I love wine, coffee and dirty martinis.
And right now my 4 year old is reading a book all by himself next to me... I can't even describe what that does to my heart.

Who is your favorite all-time protagonist and why?

Remember how I like my characters sprinkled with a little crazy? Well, my all time favorite has been dunked in crazy, head first, over and over and over again.
Dexter from "Darkly Dreaming Dexter", which is also now a show on Showtime.
A serial killer that has a code of ethics when it comes to killing? Brilliant. His character is so well developed, the backstory so disturbing and sad that you can't resist falling in love with him. As a therapist, I can tell you that the author got it just right. Just right.

Same question as above, but for your favorite Antagonist.

Doro from "Wild Seed" by Octavia Butler is probably it. Doro is a kind of spirit or demon that inhabits one human body after another, killing his hosts once he leaves them. He is extremely lonely because there's no one else like him and he can't be killed. He roams the Earth, looking for humans that might have special abilities, he enslaves them, procreates with them, and they worship him like a God.. all in an attempt to create people that will stay with him.
He is scary and ruthless, yet you can't help but to feel sorry for him, and in a way you root for him, you hope that he finds what he is searching for.

What inspired you to write your first novel (published or unpublished)? What got you started?

I've always loved stories, and as a kid I dabbled in writing a bit, but then my family moved to the US from Portugal when I was 14, and between having to learn a new language and figuring out how to fit in in a new culture, books took a back seat for quite a while. Too long. And writing? well I had forgotten that it was something that I had wanted to do as a kid.
And then last year, I joined the world of blogging and found The Red Dress Club. Once I wrote my first short story for it, there was no turning back.
As for my novel, well, the idea came to me while washing dishes and thinking of the scary stories my devout Catholic grandmother used to inappropriately share with her young grandchildren, about the times she saw the Devil as a child and how this person and that one were possessed by evil spirits, and stories of exorcisms and what not... I wouldn't recommend it for bedtime stories.
They say write what you know, right? I guess I should thank my grandma for lots of material and a few nightmares, lol.

What was the most difficult part of the novel writing process for you?

Well, I'm only on the first draft of my first novel... but I would say right now, what I struggle with the most is confidence, believing that I can do this. I'm learning that there's no one right way to do it, and to trust in the process. My process.

What book are you reading right now? Do you think that what you read effects how, what you write?

I just finished "Miss Pelegrine's Home for Peculiar Children" by Ransom Riggs, and it was AWESOME. Quirky and different, this book really brought back for me the sense of wonder and adventure I used to get as a kid while reading books.
And now I'm reading "Lips Touch - Three Times" by Laini Talyor and I think I'm in love. Seriously, I'm considering sleeping with her book in hopes of acquiring some of her greatness by osmosis.

Visit Cristina at her blog: Once Upon a Time

Jul 20, 2011

Why I Write Queries Early & Often



Queries are the bane of every unpublished author I’ve ever had the pleasure of speaking with. They hate them. And I totally understand why. I hated them too. I loathed them so much I barely gave them a though for my first 3 novels – which is probably the reason I didn’t get a single partial request.

But as of late I’ve learned to embrace the query – and now it’s just those blasted synopses I hate (kidding).

When I have a WIP I can usually tell by page 5 if it’s going to be a novel I’m going to take the time to finish. So, when I make it to the 10,000-word mark, I write that dreaded query.

What results is never pretty. But it’s the bare bones what-this-book-starts-with query.

I write that WIP’s query probably five times before I’m done with the novel and then I probably write it another 3-6 times while in revisions. Then I send what I’ve got off to other people so they can tell me where I’ve made something nonsensical – because as an author I’m too close to the story and invariably include it.

That’s the thing about queries, what makes them bearable for me: they don’t have to be great the first or even eight time around. They’re like an oil painting, you have to work it into art in a succession of layers.

How do you feel about the query process?


Jul 19, 2011

Review: The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games
By Suzanne Collins
(Book 1: The Hunger Games Trilogy)

Dystopian YA with a life threatening edge

Hard cover, 374 Pages

Published by Scholastic
Released September 14, 2008











My Summary:

Katniss has spent years struggling to keep her mother and younger sister safe and decently fed in District 12. The one thing on one between the ages of 12 and 18 is safe from, though, is the Hunger Games. A brutal yearly challenge in which the capitol reminds the citizens in it’s 12 districts just how vulnerable they are, by forcing 2 children from each into an arena which only one will survive. When Katniss’s younger sister’s name is pulled from the reaping ball, everything she’s worked for crumbles and she valiantly volunteers to take her place. But surviving the games turns out to be an even larger sacrifice.

My Review:

I’d never heard anything but good reviews of this novel, and perhaps that’s why it took me so long to read, but now that I’ve read it I’m glad I did.

The novel is engaging and heartbreaking without being a depressing pile of paper. As you read it you can sympathize with katniss so wholly that I personally, found myself on the verge of tears at the slightest thing (I don’t cry over books).

Ms. Collins has created a world that feels so real and close that it’s hard to step back and remind myself that we are not, in fact, on the verge of this form of dystopia (at least I hope!)

The only glaring part of this novel is the ending – mostly just how open it is. I know that the book was the first of an intended trilogy and she wrote it – or at least finished it – knowing that she was spending two more books worth on these characters, but I don’t enjoy the open-endedness regardless.

Buy, Borrow, Brush Past:

I was late to this party, so I’m pretty sure everyone who’s reading this has read the book already. Still. I think this novel is worth having on your shelf.

An American Dystopian Battle Royale… Quentin would be proud




















Jul 15, 2011

Query Critique #13: Dadewalker

Dadewalker by Alissa

The Query:
In a world inhabited by six magical Fae races with strict cross-breeding rules, one child is born illegally with all the magical gifts of her races. Super strength, divination, astral projection, healing, alchemy, a coercive voice, and the ability to command the elements, Innocence Frostcaller is a force to reckon with. She will grow into the most beloved and most feared of all the Fae.


This is the story of her early life. Orphaned as a young teenager, Innocence – known by legend and prophecy as ‘the Walker’ – is coveted and worshipped by the Fae, prey to the whimsy of the mysterious demigods known only as the ‘Keepers’, and feared and hunted by the human invaders bent on controlling her, or destroying her. Accompanied by her shape shifting totem Tagodan, Innocence must struggle with the responsibilities and expectations of the prophesied and legendary One Who Walks on All Planes: Master the elements, unite the Fae, and drive the human invaders from the land.

Each Fae race she seeks teaches her their magical ways, but cannot offer her a home. It is only when she ventures into the human world that she finds a place she might belong, and builds a family she can call her own. But in trying to live up to her prophecy and responsibilities, Innocence makes the mistake of ending death itself. The repercussions will extend beyond this lifetime as the humans set the date for her execution.

Complete at 65,000 words, DADEWALKER is a Young Adult high fantasy with paranormal elements. The full manuscript is available upon request.

I have a Bachelor of Arts with Honours majoring in English Literature and Film.

Thank you for your time.


The Redline:
[obligatory “Dear agent,” should be here, I assume you skipped it on purpose, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t point it out. Always make sure you’re addressing the specific agent you’re querying.]


In a world inhabited by six magical Fae races with strict cross-breeding rules, one child is born illegally with all the magical gifts of her races. Super strength, divination, astral projection, healing, alchemy, a coercive voice, and the ability to command the elements,[I think there should be a sentence break here, because honestly, I read “Innocence as yet another trait instead of her first name.] Innocence Frostcaller is a force to reckon with. She will grow into the most beloved and most feared of all the Fae. [this little bit of foresight is almost a buzzkill. 99% of the time protagonists survive their stories, but as a reader, we need that one percent chance to give us a reason to worry about her. Here, we know she makes out fine… so there’s no real drama.] [As a whole… this paragraph is not very catching. It’s a lot of set up and with the listing of all her fun little powers, it gets tedious. On another note, I feel that “force to reckon/be reckoned with” is a bit cliché and we don’t want any cliché pimples for photo day! I think this paragraph needs to be removed and repurposed in a much more constructive way.]

This is the story of her early life. [I’d say to ditch this sentence ]Orphaned as a young teenager, Innocence – known by legend and prophecy as ‘the Walker’ – is coveted and worshipped by the Fae, [why? She’s been born illegally, outside their cross-breeding laws. Shouldn’t she have been taken away and hidden if not killed?] prey to the whimsy of the mysterious demigods known only as the ‘Keepers’, [Are these the guys who made cross-breeding a strict can and can’t do thing? Becaue I’m still really confused about that, and confusion is not a response you want.] and feared and hunted by the human invaders [human invaders? You’ve barely touched on the fact that this is not our world, so just tossing human invaders at us is a little bit of a ponderance moment] bent on controlling her, or destroying her. Accompanied by her shape shifting totem Tagodan, [this could do with some explination as well. I get a big ol’ blank visual when I read that. If Tagodan is the totem’s name, I think that you need to put a comma after totem, and if not you still need to explain what a totem is in your world.] Innocence must struggle with the responsibilities and expectations of the prophesied and legendary One Who Walks on All Planes: Master the elements, unite the Fae, and drive the human invaders from the land. [I think this last sentence really should be split up. I’d probably say “Accompanied by her shape shifting totem, Tagodan, Innocence must struggle (to fulfill) the responsibilities and expectations of the prophesy. (If she truly is) the legendary One Who Walks on All Planes, she must master the elements…..”] [This paragraph is much more involved in the story. Which is where you want your pitch paragraph to be: in the thick of it. Overall, it conveys a smidge of a plot: Girl born with awesome power must protect her people… but why? We don’t get enough meat. No amount of gravy is going to gloss over the lack of turkey.]

Each Fae race she seeks teaches her their magical ways, but cannot offer her a home. [I have absolutely no idea where we are right now. This sentence seems like it fits somewhere in the middle of the second paragraph’s timeline and that breaks up the coherence of your plot.] It is only when she ventures into the human world that she finds a place she might belong, and builds a family she can call her own. [um… what? This is an out of the blue moment, why is she there? It brings up too many questions that go unanswered.] But in trying to live up to her prophecy and responsibilities, Innocence makes the mistake of ending death itself. [She makes everyone immortal?] The repercussions will extend beyond this lifetime as the humans set the date for her execution. [but she’s ended death… how can they execute her?] [I have to tell you. This last paragraph… would kill your query for me as an agent. It’s just one confusing sentence after the next. Any cohesion of plot you had to begin with, is lost as we try to stumble through this. I feel that this, like the first paragraph needs to be picked through removed and repurposed.]

Complete at 65,000 words, DADEWALKER is a Young Adult high fantasy with paranormal elements. The full manuscript is available upon request. [Because your title is so disconnected from anything in the query, it doesn’t resonate for me. Find a way to work the title into the query if you can. It’s mildly confusing.]

I have a Bachelor of Arts with Honours majoring in English Literature and Film. [I’d suggest, if you can, finding a way to tack this on to another sentence or two… by it’s self it reads very abrasively.]

Thank you for your time.


[Contact Info]
Notes:
 
The main issue with your query is clarity. You need to clean things up and make sure there’s no weird time skips that will stop an agent up while reading it. It seemed like every sentence gave me at least one new question and none of them were answered in reading to the end.

Jul 14, 2011

Trickle

I looked down at the ground, wondering when I’d get the courage to walk into that hospital. They wouldn’t give me any information on her other than that she’d been in a car accident. For all I knew they’d direct me to the morgue to identify the body.


Flicking the cigarette to the ground and stamping it out I remind myself how hard it was to quit last time, but all in all, it would have been a bitch to find alcohol in this city. Bumming a cigarette was easier, and it didn’t require any driving. So far, my first trip to Salt Lake City wasn’t quite what I’d expected.

My feet lead me up the steps before I can stop them, and I’m at the main reception desk asking for Zoe before I realize my tongue has said the words.

I stop, compose myself and explain what’s happened. She looks at me oddly when I ask for Zoe, and clicks through a few screens until a wave of recognition sweeps over her face.

“Oh, you’re looking for Zoe Taylor.”

The word catches in my brain. It’s been so long since I’ve heard anyone call her by her maiden name that it stops me up

“Sorry about that, I have a note in the system, she was checked in as Kreiff, but had them change it when she woke up.” The nurse shuffled through some paperwork and finally clicked the mouse, “She’s on the third floor, room 36A, turn left after you get off the elevator, it’s down the hall. You’ll pass three intersections before you get to it, but if you get to the x-ray sign you’ve gone too far.”

I thank her and move in the direction she points me. Numbly counting each time I cross one of the intersecting hallways.

With each step, I continue to remind myself: she’s not in intensive care and that is a good sign.

I find 36A before the X-Ray sign would force me to turn back and I stand with my hand on the door knob. I realize I’m holding my breath and let it out.

Preparing for the worst, I push through, and find she’s nothing like what I’d expected.

She’s laying in the bed, her eyes half closed. The spiny ends of her stitches poke out at odd angles and in the awful lighting of the room, she looks almost as though she’s made of wax. Perhaps this is all just a practical joke.

Her eyes flutter open as I release the door handle and she turns to me.

“Hey stranger,” she says with a smile that eats at the very core of my despair.

I smile timidly back and let the door shut behind me. “Hey yourself. What were you thinking?”

“I dunno, maybe I’d turn into a polar bear.”

“The guy on the phone told me they had to pull you out of an embankment near panguitch?”

“God I hate that town. It’s nearly summer and it’s snowing.”

She gives me a grimace I’ve seen so many times before. “We spend a lot of time in predicaments because of snow, don’t we?”

Flake <<
 
****
This is a part of an ongoing story for the Red Dress Club’s Red Writing Hood Prompt. It is a work of fiction.


This week’s prompt was writing a piece out of your comfort zone (this is why the story has shifted to Eli's perspective). The word count limit was 600.

Jul 13, 2011

Flake

The hospital bed is warm, whatever courses through my veins from the IV is searing. And yet I can’t shake the cold.

Nurses come in to take my temperature every hour and adjust my drip accordingly. I don’t remember being pulled from the wreckage, I don’t remember much. The ambulance ride was bumpy and remains in my memory as nothing more than a few fractured moments of a blond paramedic telling me to stay with him. If he was asking for consciousness, I certainly failed that test.

I do everything to not think about the crash, not because the memory is painful, or because it reminds me of the horrific scar that etches across my hairline above my right eye. But because the realization of how much money was lost when the snow reached my lenses and the computer. The pictures were backed up online, as were all my important documents, but the lenses are undoubtedly ruined.

I have no idea how long a time has passed since I left Clem in his faux log cabin motel, but something tells me it’s been long enough for someone to start worrying about me and I begin to dread who will come through the door each time it opens. John or his mother would be the worst, but somehow I don’t feel I could bear to see Eli right now.

It’s nothing to do with Vanity, and everything to do with pride. He told me not to go and I went anyway… and look where I ended up: Purple toes and sixty stitches.

Nurses continue to flit in and out like little birds, one flutters to the chart to make a note another reads something on the machine that gives my room its monotonous sound track of beeps. None of them seem to think I’m up for talking and that’s probably for the best.

The only visitor I have is the blond EMT I thought I’d dreamed. He’s handsome, but something about the cold makes me too lethargic to even care that I look like a wreck – he’s seen me worse anyway.

“This was among the stuff they could salvage. I thought you might want it right now.”

He hands me a plastic bag, inside are things I haven’t seen in years, one of which, I’d almost forgotten existed. A swatch of fabric wraps around three tiny shells and a long dead and dried leaf lay in the bag next to the heavily creased envelope.

The paper is old, but I remember every word written inside as my fingers trace across the paper.

“I don’t know why… I just felt like you needed that.” The EMT says as he slowly shuts the door.

I don’t look to the door, or to him. Instead, I stare at the sea urchin stamps that litter the front and my name scrawled carelessly by Eli’s hands.

This was him saying he’d be coming back from Peru. That he missed me and felt like leaving for so long had been a mistake. I nearly threw it away without reading it, but since that day, I’ve read it a hundred times over. This will be the first time I’ve read it, knowing for certain that I was the one who made the mistake.


Icicle<<

****

This is a part of an ongoing story for the Red Dress Club’s Red Writing Hood Prompt. It is a work of fiction.

This week’s prompt was writing a piece where your character finds a forgotten letter. The word count limit was 600.

Jul 12, 2011

Icicle

I blinked at the snowflakes fluttering down in my eyelashes. The only warmth I felt was the slow drip of something wet on my hand. Everything is a haze.

I remember falling, something sharply pulled across my neck, and something else punching me in the face. Now everything feels numb, everything but the pounding ache in my head.

A drop of water splashed on my forehead. Frigid, it burns through my skin as though it were acid. The pain pulls my eyes open and clears some of the fog. In the glittering shards of the broken windshield, bowing under the snow, I remember it all: The black ice, skidding, and the terrible crunch of metal as I rolled down the embankment.

The shard of glass buried in my forehead.

I flip down the mirror, afraid of what I’ll see. The woman staring back is unrecognizable. Caked blood covers half of my face, save for the rivulets of melted snow that have formed ghostly veins down the side of my face. My hair is clumped with ice, the matted balls of snow closest to my forehead tinged pink from the gash that still holds the piece of glass firmly in its mangled flesh.

To think, Melinda tried to charge me one hundred dollars for a safety precaution that did nothing for me.

I can’t help but laugh. At least I’m alive.

Frost << >> Flake

*****

This is a part of an ongoing story for the Red Dress Club’s Red Writing Hood Prompt. It is a work of fiction.


This week’s prompt was writing a piece of flash fiction inspired by the word: Life. The word count limit was 300.


Jul 11, 2011

Frost

Cold air met me as I left the log cabin-style motel room, my breath forming a white mist as I looked at the small Utah town I’d driven into late last night. The chill in the air would almost have me believe it’s the end of fall, not the beginnings of summer as I walk toward the large windows of the office. The long trail of smoke wafting from its chimney invites me in to the cozy artifice of the lobby.



Everything inside looks as though it’s plush and comfortable, but the slightest bit of further inspection shows that neither is true. I leaned on the sofa last night, the bold floral patter covered over stiff foam that held no warmth.


The clerk behind the desk is the same middle aged man, with a shiny patch of skin at the back of his head. He takes my key with a toothy grin. His name tag reads: Bob, but last night he introduced himself as Clem.


“Everything to your satisfaction?” Clem turns to hang the key on the board.


“Yes, thank you.” The room was far above anything I’d expected in a town with a population of 765.


“Heading a long way?”


As Clem moves to finish writing up the receipt for the room, I notice his eyes flick to my left hand. I’d finally taken off the ring last night. I moved my hands from the counter. “I’ve only got a little ways yet.”


“Well, there’s snow if you’re heading west, might want to stop in at the gas station and get some chain’s put on that Subaru of yours.”


“It’s snowing in may?”


“Heck ma’am, we get snow here into July some times. You just head on over to the gas station and tell ‘em I sent you. They’ll have you all set up in no time.”


“Thanks,” I said as I took the yellow carbon receipt from him.


The gas station is an old Texaco, the sign seemingly from a bygone era. The attendant is an elderly man who’s smile is nearly toothless and head only has a few remaining wisps of white hair.


“Howdy Ma’am, how can I help you?”


“Clem told me to come here and get my chains put on.” For some reason, saying it is embarrassing. I hand him the bag with a sheepish smile.


“I’ll get these on for you, just go inside and let Melinda know. It should be about $10.”


He doesn’t give me his name, and as I walk in, I notice the sign on the wall listing chains installation for $40.


Melinda is a black cloud hunched over her counter. She’d be pretty if she smiled, but instead, she scowls at me and pulls out a clipboard with the gas stations various services listed.


She doesn’t say a word to me as she starts writing and I’m about ready to wait out side when she finally grumphs. “Just the chains?”


“Yeah, he said it would be about $10.”


“Well, he was wrong. Just because you’re pretty doesn’t mean you get special treatment. The sign’s wrong, it’s going to be a hundred.”


“I didn’t expec—”


“Every woman who comes into this town and looks half as good as you do expects preferential treatment.”


I stare at her, unsure of what to do for a moment, before I laugh and walk out the door. I pull the ten dollar bill out of my purse and hand it to the old man with an irritated snort, and start the ignition, peeling out of the parking lot in my ire.


Puddle << >>Icicle
 
*****
 
This is a part of an ongoing story for the Red Dress Club’s Red Writing Hood Prompt. It is a work of fiction.


This week’s prompt was Physical beauty’s impact on your character with a word count limit of 600.

Hey! I'm being Interviewed!



Go Check out out Christina's Blog where I'm being interviewed today!

MI: Bavarian Countryside



Jul 5, 2011

Review: The Golem’s Eye



The Golem’s Eye
By Jonathan Stroud
(Book 2: The Bartimaeus Trilogy)


Alternate History of London with a mischievous djinni

Paperback, 570 pages


Published by Hyperion Books
Released December, 27, 2005


My Summary:
I can't figure out a way to write this book's summary without spoiling the first book, so I've decided to leave this part blank (hate me if you must)

My Review:
This novel, much like it's predecessor hangs it's likability hat on the djinni Bartimaeus. And once again it works out marvelously. Stroud introduces Kitty, another sympathetic character in this novel and the book reads at a deliciously fast clip.

Buy, Borrow, Brush Past:
This easy to read novel is one you should have on your shelves, wether perminantly, or during it's visit from the library. (I know I'm happy to have it and the other two sitting next to Tolkien)