Monday, September 30, 2013

The Living Room- Robert Whitlow

My Rating: 3 Stars

Description: Amy Clarke’s dreams are coming true—and that’s the problem.

Legal secretary by day, romance novelist by night, Amy Clarke lives with a precious secret. For years, she has traveled to a holy place in her dreams—a sublime place she calls the Living Room. When she awakes, her faith and energy are supernaturally restored. And when she dreams, she receives vibrant inspiration for her novels.

As she begins to write her third book, the nature of her dreams shifts. Gone are the literary signposts. Instead, her dreams are studded with scenes that foreshadow real life. Before long, the scenes begin to spill over into her waking hours too.

As Amy becomes entangled in a high stakes case at work, her visions take on a dark hue—implicating someone dear to her, causing her to question everything. And convincing her to trust someone with his own shadowy secrets.

Things are not always what they seem. But as fiction, dreams, and real life begin to overlap, Amy must stop dreaming and act to prevent tragedy.

My Thoughts: Robert Whitlow has this way of writing that makes you feel like you are right their with the characters. It is as if you sit with them in their own homes and drive around with them in their cars. Amy could have been someone that I know and talk to all of the time. Megan could have been my younger sister and Ian one of the boys I have babysat in the past. Jeff could have even been my neighbor, though I felt at sometimes that he was too good to be true.

Still, the beginning of the novel was slow to me. It took almost a forth of the book before I even began to recognize a plot. At that point, the story picked up and I found that I wanted to spend all day reading. I wanted to see how the story would play out. What would happen with the dreams? Would Amy's firm solve the case because of her? And most importantly, when would someone realize that *Name removed because of spoiler* was beyond shady!? The description had set up a grand and wondrous adventure that I wanted to be part of.

But it didn't fulfill it. By the end of the story, the high stakes case, didn't seem so high stakes. I felt a little cheated. And then vindicated when Lawrence Clark was brought to justice.

The dreams are what made me care about this novel. I loved the supernatural aspect of the story and that Amy refused to stay quite about what she believed God wanted from her. I applaud Whitlow's ability to accurately depict something as controversial, yet rarely mentioned, as prophetic dreams.

*I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Redeeming Love- Francine Rivers

My Rating: 4 Stars

Description: California's gold country, 1850. A time when men sold their souls for a bag of gold and women sold their bodies for a place to sleep.

Angel expects nothing from men but betrayal. Sold into prostitution as a child she survives by keeping her hatred alive. And what she hates most are the men who use her, leaving her empty and dead inside.

Then she meets Michael Hosea. A man who seeks his Father's heart in everything, Michael obeys God's call to marry Angel and to love her unconditionally. Slowly, day by day, he defies Angel's every bitter expectation, until despite her resistance, her frozen heart begins to thaw.

But with her unexpected softening come overwhelming feelings of unworthiness and fear. And so Angel runs. Back to the darkness, away from her husband's pursuing love, terrified of the truth she no longer can deny: Her final healing must come from the One who loves her even more than Michael does ... the One who will never let her go.

My Thoughts: Ever had a book take you through an emotional roller coaster? This one had a corkscrew and everything. It truly broke my heart. The pain that Angel suffered through... I wish I could tell you, but that would spoil it.

Most Christians know the story of Hosea, the prophet who married a prostitute. Few have thought of the story from the prostitutes point of view. This book in no way okays the things that Angel does (Hosea's wife), it only shows her for the human she is; broken and bleeding. The amount of grace needed to pull her out of the mire is just shows how loving God is.

Unlike most books that put my heart through the ringer, this one ends on a happy note. I can't tell you how many times I have read a book that ended with everyone dead and no one changed or even content. This one is that opposite. It begins with death and cold hearts and ends with God's grace.

The only thing that I didn't like was that it literally followed Angel's entire life from when she was around five to her death. It was a bit much.

Though I would not allow younger teens to read it and will caution all others, due to its subject matter, I believe that it is a great read.

***I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Goddess Tithe- Cover Reveal

The Vengeful Goddess
Demands Her Tithe

When a stowaway is discovered aboard the merchant ship Kulap Kanya, Munny, a cabin boy on his first voyage, knows what must be done. All stowaways are sacrificed to Risafeth, the evil goddess of the sea. Such is her right, and the Kulap Kanya's only hope to return safely home.
Yet, to the horror of his crew, Captain Sunan vows to protect the stowaway, a foreigner in clown's garb. A curse falls upon the ship and all who sail with her, for Risafeth will stop at nothing to claim her tithe.
Will Munny find the courage to trust his captain and to protect the strange clown who has become his friend?

Cover Design Intro:

I had the fun of designing this cover—finding reference photos, inventing the composition, applying the text, etc.—but the actual artistic work was done by talented cover artist Phatpuppy (, whose work I have admired for many years. It was such a thrill for me to contact and commission this artist to create a look for Goddess Tithe that is reminiscent of the original novels but has a style and drama all its own.

The boy on the front was quite a find. I hunted high and low for an image of a boy the right age, the right look, with the right expression on his face. Phatpuppy and I worked with a different model through most of the cover development stage. But then I happened upon this image, and both she and I were delighted with his blend of youth, stubbornness, and strength of character! It wasn’t difficult to switch the original boy for this young man. He simply is Munny, and this cover is a perfect window into the world of my story.

You can’t see it here, but the wrap-around back cover for the print copy contains some of the prettiest work . . . including quite a scary sea monster! Possibly my favorite detail is the inclusion of the ghostly white flowers framing the outer edge. These are an important symbol in the story itself, and when Phatpuppy sent me the first mock-up cover with these included, I nearly jumped out of my skin with excitement!

Intro to Illustration:

There are eight full-page illustrations in Goddess Tithe featuring various characters and events from the story. This is the first one in the book. I decided to share it with all of you since it depicts my young hero, Munny the cabin boy, under the watchful eye of his mentor, the old sailor Tu Pich. Munny is on his first voyage, and he is determined to learn all there is to know about a life at sea as quickly as possible. Thus we see him utterly intent upon the knot he is learning to tie. Tu Pich is old enough to know that no sailor will ever learn all there is to know about the sea. Thus he looks on, grave, caring, and perhaps a little sad. He might be looking upon his own younger self of many years ago, fumbling through the hundreds of difficult knots his fingers must learn to tie with unconscious ease.
I enjoyed creating all the illustrations for Goddess Tithe, but this one was my favorite. I love the contrasts of light and dark, the contrasts of young and old . . . youthful intensity versus the perspective of age.

Excerpt from the Story:
Here is an excerpt from the middle of the story. In this scene, Munny has been ordered to Captain Sunan’s cabin to clear away his breakfast . . . an unexpected task, for a lowly cabin boy would not ordinarily dare enter his captain’s private quarters! Munny hopes to slip in and out quietly without attracting the captain’s notice. But his hopes are dashed when Sunan addresses him, asking how their strange, foreign stowaway is faring:


And what do you make of him yourself?”
Munny dared glance his captain’s way and was relieved when his eyes met only a stern and rigid back. “I’m not sure, Captain,” he said. “I think he’s afraid. But not of . . .”
Not of the goddess?” the Captain finished for him. And with these words he turned upon Munny, his eyes so full of secrets it was nearly overwhelming. Munny froze, his fingers just touching but not daring to take up a small teapot of fragile work.
The Captain looked at him, studying his small frame up and down. “No,” he said, “I believe you are right. Leonard the Clown does not fear Risafeth. I believe he is unaware of his near peril at her will, suffering as he does under a peril nearer still.”
Munny made neither answer nor any move.
We will bring him safely to Lunthea Maly, won’t we, Munny?” the Captain said. But he did not speak as though he expected an answer, so again Munny offered none. “We will bring him safely to Lunthea Maly and there let him choose his own dark future.”
I hope—” Munny began.
But he was interrupted by a sudden commotion on deck. First a rising murmur of voices, then many shouts, inarticulate in cacophony. But a pounding at the cabin door accompanied Sur Agung’s voice bellowing, “Captain, you’d best come see this!”
The Captain’s eyes widened a moment and still did not break gaze with Munny’s. “We’ll keep him safe,” he repeated. Then he turned and was gone, leaving the door open.
Munny put down the pot he held and scurried after. The deck was alive with hands, even those who were off watch, crawling up from the hatches and crowding the rails on the port side. They parted way for the Captain to pass through, but when Munny tried to follow, they closed in again, blocking him as solidly as a brick wall.
Look! Look!” Munny heard voices crying.
It’s a sign!”
She’s warning us!”
It’s a sign, I tell you!”
Fearing he knew not what, Munny ran for the center mast and climbed partway up, using the handholds and footholds with unconscious confidence. Soon he was high enough to see over the heads of the gathered crew, out into the blue waters of the ocean. And he saw them.
They were water birds. Big white albatrosses, smaller seagulls, heavy cormorants, even deep-throated pelicans and sleek, black-faced terns. These and many more, hundreds of them, none of which should be seen this far out to sea.
They were all dead. Floating in a great mass.
Munny clung to the mast, pressing his cheek against its wood. The shouts of the frightened sailors below faded away, drowned out by the desolation of that sight. Death, reeking death, a sad flotilla upon the waves.
I’ve never seen anything like that.”
Munny looked down to where Leonard clung to the mast just beneath him, staring wide-eyed out at the waves. “How could this have happened? Were they sick? Caught in a sudden gale? Are they tangled in fishing nets?”
There was no fear in his voice. Not like in the voices of the sailors. He did not understand. He did not realize. It wasn’t his fault, Munny told himself.
But it was.


Author Bio:

Anne Elisabeth Stengl makes her home in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she lives with her husband, Rohan, a kindle of kitties, and one long-suffering dog. When she’s not writing, she enjoys Shakespeare, opera, and tea, and practices piano, painting, and pastry baking. She studied illustration at Grace College and English literature at Campbell University. She is the author of the Tales of Goldstone Wood, including Heartless, Veiled Rose, Moonblood, Starflower, and Dragonwitch. Heartless and Veiled Rose have each been honored with a Christy Award, and Starflower was voted winner of the 2013 Clive Staples Award.


I am offering two proof copies of Goddess Tithe as prizes! U.S. and Canada only, please.

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Friday, September 20, 2013

If The Shoe Fits- Sandra D. Bricker

My Rating: 4 Stars

Description: Julianne used to believe in fairy tales; she's been watching for Prince Charming to come charging in on his white steed ever since the day her mother read her Cinderella for the first time. But she's never come close to finding the perfect man-instead she's always tripping over her childhood best friend, Will. And who finds their Prince Charming on a 10-speed bicycle on the other side of the cul de sac? Well... Julianne does. Only she doesn't have a clue.

She and Will are attorneys now, and they've joined up in private practice in a beautiful Cincinnati office building that overlooks the Ohio River. And then one day Julianne is on her way to court, and runs right smack dab into Prince Charming. But when she looks again, all she finds is a metaphoric sign she is certain came straight from Heaven: The Prince's toolbox has fallen off the back of his truck, and a work boot along with it. What better way for God to grab the attention of a Cinderella-in-training than to show her a glass slipper...errrr, work boot?...waiting to be reunited with its owner?

So she sets out to track down the mysterious Prince Charming. He's the most gorgeous guy she's ever seen...and a caring animal rescuer, too. Surely he must be the soul mate God has prepared her for.

But, Julianne's prince is starting to look less and less charming all the time. No matter how she tries to romanticize him, he just keeps tumbling down off that dumb pedestal. And with the Bar Association dinner coming up that will honor her for her outstanding charity work over the year, Julianne wants so much for her friends and colleagues to see her with someone besides her best friend Will. To make matters worse, Prince Charming has no designs on wearing a penguin suit and attending a stuffy old dinner. With her pride pressing in on her like sticks from a cactus, Julianne sinks to the bottom of the proverbial barrel and actually offers to pay Paul to be her date.

Julianne is on a collision course with God's perfect plan for her life...if only she could open her eyes and see it before it's too late.

My Thoughts: So, I have never been one to believe in fairy tales, but Will a prince among men. Seriously, he is so kind and selfless, if a but fearful. Julianne was a fool to miss that he was right there.

Will was my reason for reading this. All that he goes through for the people he loves, particularly Julianne- would have gone crazy. And I understand his fear to tell her how he feels about her. It is terrifying to risk a safe relationship for an uncertain one. Not only that, but he tried to tell her, she just didn't listen.

The one downside, my pet peeve in all stories of unrequited love, is that no one else steps in and tells Julianne how Will feels until the end of the book. Come on! If you are going to tell her at all, you might as well tell her right off the bat. Put us all out of our misery. But then I guess there would be no story.

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Monday, September 16, 2013

Liebster Award

This is the second time that I have been nominated for this award. The first was by Open The Page, and here is my response. This time it was by Rebeka B. from The Other World.

Rebeka's Questions:

1. What is your favorite part about writing (or reading)?

I love creating new worlds and lives. Adding information I have learned in my History and Anthropology classes comes as a close second.


2. Who is the person you consider your role model?

My Mom is my role model. She has always been there for me and puts up with me and my siblings.

3. What is your favorite part about blogging?

I enjoy chatting with reads the most. Reading the books is a lot of fun too, though.

4. How would you describe your personal style?

I am not entirely sure what you mean by that, but in writing, I have a minimalist tendency.

5. What is something you've learned recently that you wish you'd known before?

There are so many things...

6. What book has had the most impact on you as a person (excluding the obvious  choice, of course)?
I guess I would have to say Raising Dragons by Bryan Davis. It started my love of fantasy and was when I decided that I wanted to write.


7. Favorite hobby?

Reading, writing, and blogging.

8. Favorite thing to drink?

Coffee. I drink it black.


9. Do you have any pets--and if so, can you share a picture?

I have two dogs. Corbin and Diesel (right to left). Not the greatest pictures of them, but it was all I could find at the moment.

10. Lastly, if you're able, please share a snippet of your current work-in-progress. If you're not comfortable, or not a writer, please share something you love about books. It can be anything at all.

Do I have an excerpt? lol, Here is one from my villian's POV:

  The crack of the flames devouring logs in the hearth mixed with the scratch of Elder Prind’s quill against papyrus to create a sense of peace in his main room. A smile lifted the corners of his mouth as he dipped the quill in an ink well once more before he signed his name to the missive before him.

  Hands unused to the grip of a pen had left a scrawl across the papyrus but Prind was unwilling to trust a scribe with the work. He sprinkled sand over the letter and let it sit and absorb the wet ink. With careful motions so as to not upset the sand, he grasped two edges of the document and lifted it from the table.

  “Your master will receive this?” Prind addressed the messenger who stood just across the table.

   “He will.”

   “What proof can you give me?” Prind walked to the fire and stood with the papyrus above the flames. He watched the messenger’s gaze dart to the letter.

  “I am his servant.”

  “And I am a servant of Thyne.” Prind lowered the letter closer to the hearth and watched as the light of the fire glowed through. “I’m sure you understand.”

   The messenger’s eyes widened as he watched the missive. He thrust his hand into the collar of his deep red tunic and withdrew a throng from about his neck. “These prove who I am. If the message does not make it to my master, you can present these and I will be executed.”

   “Good.” Prind flipped the letter so that the sand fell into the flames and then stepped back from the sparks that flew up. He rolled the papyrus and dripped wax over the seem. As it cooled, he stamped it with his seal. He stretched a hand out to the messenger and motioned for the throng.

   The messenger dropped it into Prind’s grasp and then snatched the letter. “My master thanks you.”

  Prind lifted the throng and inspected the seals that hung from it. The messenger’s personal seal was small and unimportant. The other was large and denoted the status of his master. A two legged serpent reared in the gleaming metal.

   “Long live the King.” Prind dropped the seals into his packet and turned away as the messenger left to deliver the letter.

Friday, September 13, 2013

The Reason- William Sirls- 3 Book Giveaway

William Sirls, the author of The Reason, has provided 3 signed copies of his book for a giveaway here. Please leave a comment thanking him.

William Sirls Biography: Over the course of his life, William Sirls has experienced both great highs and tremendous lows--some born of chance, some born of choice. Once a senior vice president at a major investment firm, he was incarcerated in 2007 for wire fraud and money laundering, where he learned a great deal more than he ever bargained for. Life lessons involving faith, grace, patience, and forgiveness are evident in his writing. He is the father of two and makes his home in southern Michigan.


Description: When facing the impossible, will you believe?

Storm clouds gather over a small Michigan town. As thunder shakes the sky, the lights inside St. Thomas Church flicker . . . and then go out.

All is black until a thick bolt of lightning slices the sky, striking the church's large wooden cross--leaving it ablaze and splintered in two. When the storm ends--the search for answers begins.

James Lindy, the church's blind minister, wonders how his small congregation can repair the cross and keep their faith in the midst of adversity. And he hears the words "only believe."

Macey Lewis, the town's brilliant young oncologist, is drawn to Alex, a young boy who's recently been diagnosed with an aggressive leukemia. She puts her hope in modern medicine--yet is challenged to "only believe."

And Alex's single mom, who has given everything she can to her boy, is pleading with God to know the reason this is happening . . . to save her son. But she only hears silence and wonders how she can possibly "only believe."

My Rating:  4.5 Stars

My Thoughts: Only Believe. Can you do that?

I know that I often have moments in life that I struggle with only believing, with faith even the size of a mustard seed. And I have not suffered as the characters in this novel or gone through trials such as the author, William Sirls has. 

At first, I will admit, that I thought this book came across as preachy. I started to get angry through the first chapters, feeling that Sirls was judging me, that he needed to step back. And then I realized that it was I who needed to do so. I had become offended because he wrote the truth, and it upsets me that I was. I was about a fourth of the way through when I realized this, and I am glad that God did not let me stay in my bad opinion.

Sirls is a truly great writer. Once I got over my anger, I realized that a lot of what I had been upset about, I had heard before. I kept telling myself that Sirls was exaggerating peoples' opinions and assertions, until I actually thought about it and realized that I know people in my own life who feel this way. I have felt this way and that was why I had reacted negatively to this story, a mirror of my own heart.

I also loved Sirls portrayal of Alex. He actually acts like a kid. So often I read novels where children act and think like adults with more energy. They don't. They see the world so much differently than we do and they exaggerate everything they see. Alex was a true child.

The only reason I do not give this book 5 stars is because there were scenes that were slow. It was mostly because of the amount of description. I tend to prefer stories with minimal description, so that I can paint my own picture and the scenes move faster. So it was a personal preference, not a true weakness.

Interview:  Go to this link to read the interview I did with William Sirls last month. You will enjoy it.


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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Every Waking Moment- Tour

My Rating: 3 Stars

Description: Treha Langsam is a mysterious young woman who has fallen through the cracks, much like many of the elderly people she works with at Desert Gardens Retirement Home. But Miriam Howard, director of the facility, sees her extraordinary gift and untapped potential. Treha is a whisperer of sorts, calling those who have slipped into dementia back to a life of vibrant, if only temporary, clarity.When Treha's and Miriam's stories intertwine with a documentary team looking for stories of the elderly, Treha's gift is uncovered, and the search begins for answers to the mysteries of her past. As their paths converge, each person is forced to face the same difficult question: "What if this is as good as my life gets?"An uplifting, human tale of an ordinary woman with an extraordinary gift.

My Thoughts: All through this book, I was interested in the life of Treha. I wanted to know what made her like she was, what was in her past. She was such a unique character, one I had never read before, or any like it. I was intrigued. The first two thirds of the book were great. But then the book ended.

We find out why Treha has her disorder, but not why she has her gift. We learn of her past, but it doesn't effect her future. The scenario with her mother just disappointed me. And have I mentioned Devin? We don't learn how popular his documentary was, or if he made more. The banker we had wanted to grovel at his feet was never brought back up. There was just no real end to his part of the story.

I feel like this book could have been great. Perhaps if there is a second book, one that answers all the questions left in this one, than I would love them both. But I have seen no mention of a sequel.

I received a review copy from Tyndale Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

Author Q&A:  1. What was your inspiration for this book, Every Waking Moment?

The question at the center of this story is “If this is as good as it gets, am I okay with life?” I find this is a universal question that hits at the heart of our outlook on life and our belief in God. The other question it raises is this: If you could bring someone back from dementia or Alzheimer’s and have a conversation, what would you ask? What would you say to that person?

2. Tell me about your main character Treha Langsam. Was this character based upon anyone in particular?

She was loosely based on my own children and what they’ve gone through the past five years. This is probably my most personal story to date. We were exposed to toxic mold. Most people think you can only get a rash or have respiratory damage, but it can attack the brain. Treha’s symptoms are similar to what I’ve seen in them and others who have been exposed.

3. What lessons or truths will your readers find in the pages of this novel?

I love the fact that God doesn’t look at the exterior; he looks at the heart. As humans, we have a tendency to judge on first impressions, but we miss so much by doing that. Those who are disabled, those who have some kind of struggle in life, those who are older—all are lumped into a category, and this is such a disservice to them and us.

4. How do you expect Treha’s story to resonate with your readers?

I think everyone feels a bit like Treha. She is the little engine that could, even if she isn’t given a chance. And it only takes one person giving someone else a chance. I’m hoping readers will give someone a chance—or maybe let someone else give them a chance.

5. As a writer, what did you particularly enjoy about crafting this story?

I loved getting to know Treha better because she’s so mysterious to everyone around her. She’s also a bit scary. To crawl into her skin and walk around and see what she sees is a heartbreaking, life-affirming journey. I also liked the discovery that came with other characters who encounter Treha and see how she changes their lives.

6. What is your hope for this story? How would you like it to impact readers?

My hope is that this force of nature, Treha, would empower readers to believe the truth about themselves and others. In Christ, you are stronger than you think you are. With God, you can do anything he calls you to do.

7. How has this novel helped you to grow as a storyteller?

Trying to tell a complex story in a simple way is always difficult, and people’s lives are hugely complex. Trying to uncover the truth about Treha—why she is the way she is and where she might be able to go from here—helped me as a human being as well as a writer.

8. Your novels typically touch on a relevant and current topic in our culture. What topics do you weave into this novel?

One thread running deeply through this story is the reliance we have on drugs. It’s much easier to take a pill than to make a lifestyle change. And this is affecting individuals, families, and our culture. It also means a great deal of money to institutions, so in tackling this, I know I’m not going to make friends in the pharmaceutical industry. I’m grateful for drugs—my son wouldn’t be alive today without insulin. But every positive thing can have a negative side as well.

9. What big questions will this novel get your reader thinking about?

What is your backstory? What is the worth of an individual? Old, young, disabled, unsuccessful . . . several characters are faced with questions of their own worth as well as how they treat others. I’ve always heard that your faith is tested by how you treat someone who can’t do anything for you. This story will get you thinking about some of those deep issues of the heart.

10. How do you manage your time with such a full life, including a writing career, a radio career, and a large family?

Everyone has the same amount of time each day. We simply make choices about what we invest in. Hence, I spend less time watching television than I used to. That’s a huge time waster. I get up earlier and go to bed earlier. And when you begin your day centered on God’s Word and ask him what your priorities should be, things generally fall into place. I haven’t arrived at that balance, but I’m struggling as well as I can.

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Friday, September 6, 2013

Guys Are Waffles, Girls Are Spaghetti - Chad Eastman

My Rating: 3 Stars

Description: Boy meets Girl; Boy wonders what in the world Girl is talking about and how he will ever keep up. Girl wonders what is wrong with Boy. Enter, "Waffles and Spaghetti"--every teen's guide to figuring out the opposite sex and understanding and valuing our unique differences.

In a pivotal time of their development and social lives, teens are left to try and understand one another without much guidance. The purpose of this book is to help better understand themselves as well those from the "alien gender."

Guys' brains are like waffles--they keep their lives compartmentalized in boxes. Girls' brains are like spaghetti--everything in their life is connected to everything else. This book for teens includes brain development, social habits, differences in emotions, and relationship building skills for teens to develop early in their life. Loaded with humor and fun examples, this is a great way for teens to learn about healthy relationships with the opposite sex.

My Thoughts: I started reading this after it was suggested by Jill Williamson a week or so ago as a good way to learn about the thought process of males and females in order to write more believable characters. While this books does not deal with writing, it does show a bit of what goes on in peoples' heads.

While I found a few chapters new and relevant, for the most part, I already knew most of the ideas or concepts. It seems like a good book for teens who are really, really confused, but not for those that are not. Most of the three stars are because of the amusing stories told within. I did find myself laughing throughout much of it, but it was nothing new to me.

I also would definitely not let a pre-teen read this.

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Monday, September 2, 2013

Writing Tip- (Learning from) Favorite Movies

Hannah at The Writer's Window tagged me in a post for Favorite Movies. I decided to use the post for a Writing Tip, learning from your favorite movies. Since I do not really have a favorite, I will list some of my favorites in no particular order.

The Goonies:

 A couple months ago, I did a writing tip on Double Duty, using The Goonies as an example. This movie is one of my favorites for characterization because there are so many distinct characters.


This movie is a great model in layers of conflict. There is the conflict with her family, with herself, Mushu, the other soldiers,  Shang, Chi Fu, the Hun army, and then the entire Chinese empire and its traditions.

This movie has characters with differing world views and backgrounds.

Second Hand Lions: 

The level of story telling in this movie is amazing. It has a story within a story and we go on this ride where we learn what it is to believe and trust someone.

How to Train Your Dragon:

How to Train Your Dragon will always have a special place in my heart because it is what started the imaginative process for Bonded Souls, my WIP. It was all thanks to these guys, the Hideous Zipplebacks:
 And this clip from the TV show:


These are some other favorites: 
Amazing Grace
Dances With Wolves
Ever After
The Prince & Me
Fly Boys

Great movies can always help us write great stories.