3 S.R. Johannes: March 2013

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Bookanista Thursday: The Essence

I love this series. I might be a 'little" biased but Ive always loved the idea of classes being divided by language. I think we hit classism today because of that in some sense regarding ethnicity and diversity.

I loved The Pledge and The Offering just came out the beginning of the year so I wanted to touch on The Essence first.

If you have not read this series, start back at the Pledge.

Top 10 reason to read:

  1. K.D (yes I know her by that :)  knows exactly what magnificent word to choose every time.
  2. The twists and turns in this book is more complex than in The Pledge.
  3. I love the character arc proving how much Charlie has changed from Book 1 to Book 2. Love how she struggles with the girlie things...oh and horses :)
  4. Brooke's situation had me stressed out toward the end! Love that.
  5. The world building and mythology weaved in is amazing.
  6. One word - Max :)
  7. The development of some secondary characters in Book 1 was so flawless.
  8. The book has everything cool in it: There are mysteries, assassins, spies, kidnapping, betrayal, dancing, soul mates, new powers, and murder. 
  9. Even the villain, Sabara was sympathetic. That's hard to do.
  10. All the queens at the summit are crazy and fun to read about.

At the luminous conclusion of The Pledge, Charlaina defeated the tyrant Sabara and took her place as Queen of Ludania. But Charlie knows that Sabara has not disappeared: The evil queen’s Essence is fused to Charlie’s psyche, ready to arise at the first sign of weakness.

Charlie is not weak, but she’s being pushed to the brink. In addition to suppressing the ever-present influence of Sabara, she’s busy being queen—and battling a growing resistance determined to return Ludania to its discriminatory caste system. Charlie wants to be the same girl Max loves, who Brook trusts, but she’s Your Majesty now, and she feels torn in two.

As Charlie journeys to an annual summit to meet with leaders of nearby Queendoms—an event where her ability to understand all languages will be the utmost asset—she is faced with the ultimate betrayal. And the only person she can turn to for help is the evil soul residing within.

Other Bookanista reviews:

Christine Fonseca  marvels at MIND GAMES by Kiersten White

Elana Johson  is gaga for GRAVE MERCY by Robin LaFever

Stasia Ward Kehoe discusses THE DIFFERENT GIRL by Gordon Dahlquist

Jessica Love delves into BITTERSWEET by Sarah Ockler

Katy Upperman  wonders at IF I LIE by Corrine Jackson

Nikki Katz  celebrates THE SEA OF TRANQUILITY by Katja Millay

Thursday, March 21, 2013

My Bear Plea and Bookanista Thursday

Peta photo
Today is Bookanista Thursday but I want to share something first.

My first book Untraceable touches on the inhumane bear pits in North Carolina where bears are held in cement bunkers and treated horribly.

This month is a huge month because they are voting on whether to close them or not.

If you read the book or are interested in speaking out. You can write an email to the city council for the meeting on March 19th.

Here are the email addy's and sample letter

Here is the agenda for the meeting in March.

Here is my petition to stop it and here is another larger petition going on as well.

And lastly, here's a great story about a 6 year old who won the PETA kids award for helping these bear pits.


Now for the Bookanista Links this week:

Tracy Banghart revels in ROMEO REDEEMED by Stacy Jay

Corrine Jackson is redeemed by HOPELESS by Colleen Hoover

Jessica Love gets lost in TAKEN by Erin Bowman

Stasia Ward Kehoe connects writers with WriteOnCon

Shannon Messenger celebrates upcoming spring reads

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Debt Collector by Susan Kaye Quinn

I am so excited about this series. Check it out!

From the author of the bestselling Mindjack series comes a new future-noir serial, The Debt Collector. The first episode, Delirium, launches today (3/20).

What’s your life worth on the open market?

A debt collector can tell you precisely.

Lirium plays the part of the grim reaper well, with his dark trenchcoat, jackboots, and the black marks on his soul that every debt collector carries. He’s just in it for his cut, the ten percent of the life energy he collects before he transfers it on to the high potentials, the people who will make the world a better place with their brains, their work, and their lives. That hit of life energy, a bottle of vodka, and a visit from one of Madam Anastazja’s sex workers keep him alive, stable, and mostly sane… until he collects again. 

But when his recovery ritual is disrupted by a sex worker who isn’t what she seems, he has to choose between doing an illegal hit for a girl whose story has more holes than his soul or facing the bottle alone—a dark pit he’s not sure he’ll be able to climb out of again.

Contains mature content and themes. For YA-appropriate thrills, see Susan’s Mindjack series.

Delirium is approximately 12,000 words or 48 pages and is one of nine episodes in the first season of The Debt Collector serial. This dark and gritty future-noir is about a world where your life-worth is tabulated on the open market and going into debt risks a lot more than your credit rating. You can find out more about the series at the Debt Collector website and facebook page. The Debt Collector newsletter is a special list just for episode releases.
Early Praise
 “The street-smart science of LOOPER meets the cold, just-the-facts voice of DOUBLE INDEMNITY in this edgy, future-noir thriller that will have you holding your breath, looking over your shoulder, and begging for more.” —Leigh Talbert Moore, author of The Truth About Faking, The Truth About Letting Go, and Rouge
“Do you owe more than your life is worth? No worries. A more deserving person than you can benefit from that excess life—and someone else will get paid with it. Enter the Debt Collector.” —Dianne Salerni, author of We Hear the Dead, The Caged Graves, and The Eighth Day (HarperCollins 2014)
The first three episodes of Debt Collector will be released a week apart, starting Wednesday 3/20. The remaining episodes will release every two weeks. Delirium can be found on Amazon, Barnes&Noble, iTunes, Kobo. Or add it to your TBR on Goodreads.

Susan Kaye Quinn is the author of the bestselling YA SF Mindjack series. Debt Collector is her more grown-up SF. Her steampunk fantasy romance is temporarily on hold while she madly writes episodes to keep Lirium happy. Plus she needs to leave time to play on Facebook. Susan has a lot of degrees in engineering, which come in handy when dreaming up dangerous mind powers, future dystopias, and slightly plausible steampunk inventions. Mostly she sits around in her pajamas in awe that she gets make stuff up full-time. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

My "crappy" weekend

here's my weekend in a nutshell:

  • Washer backs up and floods garage
  • Call AHS who calls plumber
  • Plumber comes to fix
  • Instead of fixing, he blocks whole house water line
  • Oh no! Plumbing bursts, toilet overflows
  • Sewage in bathtubs and showers (disgusting!)
  • "Oops" says plumber, "can't fix til next wed" (Oops? come again? 6 days without a toilet?? Call me regular!)
  • Home warranty won't pay (of course they won't!)
  • Plumber says we have roots in pipes along with some serious backage. (uh yeah, thanks for clearing THAT up for me b/c I was wondering)
  • Estimates 3,000$ (no problem b/c we have that kind of $ just lying around)
  • No running water (shower, toilet, washer etc)
  • Did I mention nasty "shit" tubs??
  • Stay with friend (bless her heart for politely offering because we jumped on it). Nice house, big enough for all of us. And she has stairs (like I can't handle some of those?? Trust me I will tie this plot point into the story in just a second.)
  • Get up early to meet a different plumber at house at 6 am (PS we love Roto Rooter!)
  • Wake 5 year old up - but alas he will not wake from the land of wonder
  • Carry son down flight of stairs (hey - Ive been working out to Jillian Michaels 30 day challenge for 5 days now. cant be that hard, right? WRONG!.)
  • Trip on steps (because hey - they should not be there - right?) and fall down a flight of stairs
  • Poor boy slams head on chair - I'm now convinced his brain is bleeding and he has a brain injury.
  • In trying to stop him from getting more hurt, I sacrifice my left hand to break the fall.
  • Husband rushes to son's side - "WT hell Shelli! Sounds like an elephant coming down stairs." - except he says it with English accent so it sounds much more polite. (Me - Gee sorry! so I'm up a few pounds - sew me!)
  • Daughter looks horrified 
  • I follow her gaze and notice my left hand. (enter 'first sadistic thought that popped into my head' here - "thank goodness its not my typing hand!" ;)
  • Fingers pointing in directions they should not be pointing.
  • To prevent her from entering therapy at age 9, I quickly pop them all back in myself (we'll do anything for our kids) and say, "Everything is fine. Everyone is okay."
  • Seconds later, I drop to floor sweating and wailing: "I think I'm going to be sick. I'm going to pass out. Does son have brain injury? Wait, I think I broke my hand!"
  • Hubby's loving response: "He's fine. The plumber's coming in 10 minutes."
  • So I'm faced with a choice - deal with shit toilets or go to emergency room for broken hand????
  • We go home and wait for plumber.
  • Decide to keep both kids home for "post traumatic stress disorder"
  • 3 hours later we finally go to urgent care
  • No broken bones but 2 dislocated fingers (could have told you that 3 hours ago!)
  • Must wear splint - can't write :(
  • come home to front yard dug out. 
  • Pay plumber 2500 - only to hear him say "other guy was wrong. there are no roots in pipes just a blockage" (WTF!) 
  • wasted 2,500??
  • Call home warranty and threaten lives
  • Stubborn blockage remains - what the hell is in there a dead body? (run inside to take notes on writing new book with a dead body in pipes)
  • Still "no toilet until Monday"
  • Weight options? hotel, stay with friends, face dangerous tripping stairs, stay with parents...?? Oh God.
  • Never mind - we order port o potty
  • Hubby wants 50$/week portopotty (no way, that's for cavemen! we are civilized people)
  • I get the Cadillac of all port-o-potties (call me spoiled!) for 150$ a week (total now: 3000$ plus 150) What a bargain!
  • We get a VIP with flushable toilet and sink, running water, light, key/padlock to prevent any unnecessary break ins (hey you never know) and the ever so needed accessory so you can witness yourself in a port o potty - a nice little mirror. :) (moving on up and living in style!)
  • port o potty delivered Friday night right around the time everyone comes home from work and people start jogging.
  • Let's hide it in side yard - I mean we can at least be discreet in our nice neighborhood of 2.5 kids 
  • Can't get it up driveway (of course they cant!)
  • Must sit it directly next to---- (wait for it)--- the mailbox on street (talk about going postal?)
  • Family forced to endure total humiliation by trekking out to mailbox to do business
  • People jogging by (me waving with toilet paper in hand Top of the morning to you!) (but trust me - I had urge to grunt when people walked by just to get a laugh! :)
  • Needless to say the dog walkers probably got TMI.
  • 9 year old comes in (after "doing #3" she says) and yells, "THAT was NOT fun!"
  • Brother calls - Im coming into town.
  • hour later. A Guest arrive. "Welcome to our Happy Can!"
  • Plumbing finally fixed sat night.
  • Sat night prayer - "thank you lord for modern plumbing!"
  • Sunday - goes to use bathroom. Our toilet not working. (I swear Im not lying)
  • Hubby goes to store and buys cheapest toilet for 88$. (wait what? the port o potty was better than this!)
  • "Why did you buy plastic toddler toilet?" His response - "Because it was cheap."
  • I return to Lowes and buy regular toilet for hubby to reinstall. Sue me for wanting a nice toilet! 
  • Week dishes backed up. Run dishwasher.
  • Week of laundry backed up - Load clothes washer and...wait for it.
  • Clothes washer broken!!!!!!!!!!!! Doesn't work. Are you freakin' kidding me?
  • Call AHS who calls plumber to come out.
  • Yes, everything in life somehow comes in full circle.
Good times :)

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Bookanista Thurs. 3/14 - Celebrating Bridget with Poison

The beautiful Bridget Zinn finally has a book out. Ive been waiting for this book for over 2 years.

Bridget grew up in Wisconsin. She went to the county fair where she met the love of her life, Barrett Dowell. They got married right before she went in for exploratory surgery which revealed she had colon cancer. They christened that summer the "summer of love" and the two celebrated with several more weddings. Bridget continued to read and write until the day she died. Her last tweet was "Sunshine and a brand new book. Perfect.

Bridget wanted to make people laugh and hoped readers would enjoy spending time with the characters she created. As a librarian/writer she loved books with strong young women with aspirations. She also felt teens needed more humorous reads. She really wanted to write a book with pockets of warmth and happiness and hoped that her readers' copies would show the watermarks of many bath time reads.

So we are celebrating Bridget's life by talking about her book.
Sixteen-year-old Kyra, a highly-skilled potions master, is the only one who knows her kingdom is on the verge of destruction—which means she's the only one who can save it. Faced with no other choice, Kyra decides to do what she does best: poison the kingdom's future ruler, who also happens to be her former best friend.
But, for the first time ever, her poisoned dart…misses.
Now a fugitive instead of a hero, Kyra is caught in a game of hide-and-seek with the king's army and her potioner ex-boyfriend, Hal. At least she's not alone. She's armed with her vital potions, a too-cute pig, and Fred, the charming adventurer she can't stop thinking about. Kyra is determined to get herself a second chance (at murder), but will she be able to find and defeat the princess before Hal and the army find her?
Kyra is not your typical murderer, and she's certainly no damsel-in-distress—she's the lovable and quick-witted hero of this romantic novel that has all the right ingredients to make teen girls swoon.

If you didn't know bridget - here is your glimpse into a beautiful spirit,

Links about Bridget

(If you post something, don't forget to post a link to this page: http://bridgetzinn.com/help/index.php)

Everything you need to know about helping spread the word (with lots of info and links)

A remembrance of Bridget written by her agent (with a video of Bridget that shows how vibrant and funny she was)

Bridget's path to publication - in her own words.

A post in which Bridget shares her Sneaky Tips for writing (which also has an audio file of her reading this post)

Find out what the other Bookanistas are recommending today!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Why I love the Indie Life!

The Indie Life has it's ups and downs. So does the traditional side. My goal is to experience both someday.

But for right now, in this moment, I am loving being indie in today's world. It was much harder a year and 1/2 ago when I started publishing, but now things are changing and becoming more acceptable in the industry and it's exciting.

The top 10 reasons I love being indie:

1) The control. Yes for those who don't know, I am a control freak by nature. So creating my own book and releasing it - no matter how hard - is awesome and rewarding.

2) The way-smart business people - esp women. I love hanging out with some serious smart women who know how to run a business as well as have kick ass writing (Just to name a few out of all the awesome: All of the Indelibles like Rashelle Workman & Susan Quinn doing interesting things, Heidi MacLaughlin, Addison Moore, and M. Leighton) Again, this is just to name a few! It's a world of awesomeness.

3) I can write what I want when I want. Branding is important in books but so is passion. If I want to write a sci fi series, I can. If I want to put out a marketing nonfiction, I can. I love the freedom of writing what is in me at the time.

4) My book is what I envision. I know when I put my book out it is the best it can be and it is all me.  The cover, the editing, the story. It's like having a baby. You know it's a direct product of you.

5) The community rocks. Every indie author is so helpful and I love that we all support each other. Whether it is Hugh Howey giving shout outs or M. Leighton giving a pep talk. The indie authors are so approachable no matter what status they hold because they have all been there. And they know how hard it really is.

6) Seeing people rise to the top. I love seeing indie bust their bum for years and then see them finally break through the glass ceiling. Hugh Howey, Abbi Glines, Addison Moore, M. Leighton, Samantha Young, Chelsea Cameron. Gosh, I could name so many others. They get there on their own and they work hard for it. It is never handed to an indie author to come out on top.

7) Some stability options. With the state of flux in the publishing world, I feel this gives me ANOTHER avenue for my writing. Not always the only one but another one.

8) A paycheck. I like getting paid every month, knowing my writing is bringing in income for my family and that people see value in what I do.

9) Reaching readers (I had touching readers but it felt creepy :). I get mail from readers, librarians, and parents about how they love my book. That makes me feel like I'm making a small difference in someone's life.

10). I love this business. No matter the ups and downs. I love publishing industry. I love both sides. I think both have things to offer that they other may not. And I'm honored to be a part of it in any way.

Here are more thoughts today on the INdie Life

What do you love?

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Bookanista Thursday

Bookanistas are ramping back up again. Things  got slow over the holidays but we are back!

So once again weekly, we will discuss and review books in a positive way.

This week, the Bookanistas are talking about:

Jessica Love raves about THE REECE MALCOM LIST
Nikki Katz sees red over SCARLET 
Katy Upperman  adores JUST ONE DAY
Stasia Ward Kehoe is ga-ga for GOING VINTAGE