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Who would you choose as your YA boyfriend?

I know it’s hard to pick just one: Bad boy vamp? Sexy alien? Or flamboyant warlock? You choose, if you can.

My Christmas movie pick

I am usually underwhelmed by the movies that come out at Christmas time, or worse, totally hyped just to be let down (yes Star Wars, I’m looking at you). This year I am cautiously optimistic about the sci-fi action flick Passengers. Staring Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt, *sigh*, the movie is shaping up to be a winner. Yet can a movie with basically only two characters (and a very suave robot bartender played by Michael Sheen) really hold my attention for two hours? So far the effects look big budget and the story intriguing. But we will see if Lawrence and Pratt can deliver the explosive on-screen chemistry needed to make this movie a hit.

Here is the trailer for your viewing pleasure. Let me know your thoughts in the comment section.

Travel is the best source of inspiration

So I just got back from two weeks in Iceland (which were epic) and while most people come home with t-shirts or handicrafts as souvenirs, I came home with something better: A new story idea! It will have to wait until I finish the current novel I’m working on, but I hope to get started around Christmas.

In the meantime, here are some ideas on how to blur good and evil in your stories.

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Carrie by Stephen King

10592Carrie knew she should not use the terrifying power she possessed… But one night at her senior prom, Carrie was scorned and humiliated just one time too many, and in a fit of uncontrollable fury she turned her clandestine game into a weapon of horror and destruction…

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

an-ember-in-the-ashes-by-sabaa-tahir“Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.

Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.

It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.

But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.

There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.”

Stars: *****

Thoughts:

This debut novel by Sabaa Tahir is the best book I’ve read this year. Full of page-turning action, inspired characters and set in a richly detailed world, An Ember in the Ashes rises above most other books in the YA fantasy genre. Can’t wait for the next book!

 

Written in Red by Anne Bishop

512N3p5W-4L._SX308_BO1,204,203,200_“As a cassandra sangue, or blood prophet, Meg Corbyn can see the future when her skin is cut—a gift that feels more like a curse. Meg’s Controller keeps her enslaved so he can have full access to her visions. But when she escapes, the only safe place Meg can hide is at the Lakeside Courtyard—a business district operated by the Others.

Shape-shifter Simon Wolfgard is reluctant to hire the stranger who inquires about the Human Liaison job. First, he senses she’s keeping a secret, and second, she doesn’t smell like human prey. Yet a stronger instinct propels him to give Meg the job. And when he learns the truth about Meg and that she’s wanted by the government, he’ll have to decide if she’s worth the fight between humans and the Others that will surely follow.”

Stars: ****

 

Thoughts:

Anne Bishop is an extremely talented fantasy writer whose carefully crafted worlds suck you in and don’t want to let go. As a teenager I fell in love with the fantasy genre through Anne’s Black Jewels Trilogy. Much of the detail and world-building in that series inspired my own works. In Written in Red, the first book of the Others series, Anne is able to create another fantastic world: similar to our own yet strange enough to envelop the reader in a sense of wonder. She takes the worn-out tropes of werewolves, vampires, prophets and witches and remakes them in her own unique way.  The characters come to life and are believable from the first page. Mixing just the right amount of humor, love, horror and mystery together, the story keeps you hooked from the first chapter to the last.

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