Wednesday, April 16, 2014

What's Christian Reading? Freefall

Christian's reading a series that I am not familiar with. It called the Tunnels series, by Roderick Gordon & Brian Williams. He really likes it, so I think I'll be checking it out. He's going to tell us a little about the third book in the series, Freefall. Let's see what Christian has to say about it.

Here's what Christian says the book is about.

In Freefall, Will, Chester, and Elliot are falling down the Pore. When they reach the bottom they are scattered, knocked out, and spread out. Chester is first awakened when Will’s hunter/cat abomination thing starts licking him. Chester then has to go off and find his friends with Bartleby, Will’s hunter. He finds Will first, thanks to Bartleby, in a cave behind a waterfall. Will is convinced that his father, who he came down into the Deeps to find in the first place is dead.

They find Elliot buried deep in the fungus floor. When they pull her out she is unconscious. They venture deeper into the fungus filled land and get attacked by giant spiders. Thankfully a woman with frizzy red hair named Martha saves them. She takes them back to her shack and takes care of them. They find out that her son, Nathaniel, died due to an illness.  




What I liked: I liked how action packed the book was.

What I didn’t like: I didn’t like how creepy some of the characters were. I felt that they were overly creepified (is that even a word?).

So, how did Christian rate Freefall, by Roderick Gordon & Brian Williams?

He gave it five out of five flaming monkey heads.


Monday, April 14, 2014

Between the Lines: Tarzan of the Apes

This week's interview is with everybody's favorite swinger, Tarzan the Ape Man. Due to his aversion to "civilization," we had to journey to darkest Africa to get some face time with the Lord of the Jungle.

Greg:  Hello, thanks for inviting us, Tarzan. Nice jungle you've got here.

Tarzan:  Thank you. Sorry, we didn't have time to clean up much. We didn't expect you so soon. The vines need trimming and we haven't emptied Cheetah's litter box in a week. I'm so embarrassed.

Greg:  No worries. We came by jet, much better than those long ocean voyages. Anyway, tell us a little bit about your childhood.

Tarzan:  Not much to tell. Can't remember very much. I was only a baby when my parents and I were marooned here. Mother died soon after. My father was killed by Kerchak, leader of the Mangani ape tribe. The tribe adopted me, or rather Kala, my ape mother did.

Greg:  Fascinating. How did you, a human, manage to survive among the apes?

Tarzan:  They took care of me. Kala raised me. I learned much; ape ways and ape speech. I learned to climb, swing from vines like an ape. I grew strong, fought many in the jungle. I learned to speak with apes, monkeys, elephants, lions, tigers, cheetahs, many animals in the jungle.

Greg:  You're remarkably well spoken for someone raised by apes.

Tarzan:  I learn man speech from humans who come to the jungle, and I've been to big man cities, to civilization. Many strange things I saw there, and many languages I learned. I did not like it. Smelly, dirty places. Crowded, polluted. All animals slaves there, and many people, too.

I wanted to leave, but Jane wanted me to stay. It was her home. I wanted her to be happy, but I was not happy, and that made Jane unhappy. In civilization, no one is happy. Tarzan left, and Jane agreed to go, too.

Greg:  How did you meet Jane?

Tarzan:  A group of humans was marooned on same spot as I was. What are the odds? Jane and her father were in that group. I met Jane, showed her the jungle. She liked the jungle, liked me, too, but her father wanted to go back, so she went.

I decided to leave, too, to find her. I loved Jane, did not want to let her go. I traveled up through Africa, into India. Met Mowgli--nice boy. There is a book about him and his life in the jungle--I forget the name. He got me on an English ship. Sailed to England. Good thing Jane did not go back to America, but went to England. Swim to America is long, they say.

I found Jane--looked her up in the phone book. Ha, ha, that's a joke. I made friends with the crew. They said to go to the Explorers Society, they probably went there. Guess what? They did! Lots of coincidences in my life!

After I found Jane, she and I lived in London, got married. I tried to live civilized to make Jane happy, but it didn't work out. Finally, Jane said that she wanted to go back to Africa, to my home. That made me happy, which made Jane happy. Everybody was happy.

Greg:  So, you didn't like civilization. Can't say that I blame you. How did Jane adjust to living in the wild?

Tarzan:  Jane did well. She's strong. She likes living in the trees and swinging on vines. I built a tree house for her. She keeps it clean, makes it a good home. I bring her things to cook, wildebeests, gazelle, and Jane's favorite--warthog.

Jane also likes to ride elephants, swim, climb, everything that I like to do. She's good fun. Our son likes to do these things, too.

Greg:  Is it true that you call him Boy?

Tarzan:  Ha, ha, that's funny. You're telling me a joke, right?

Greg:  Uh, no, in the films I've seen, you call your son Boy.

Tarzan:  That's not true! It's the silliest thing I've heard. My son is not named Boy, his name is Jack. He makes me proud. He's a good boy.

Greg:  Sorry, I guess you can't believe everything you hear. Well, thank you for taking the time to sit and talk with us a bit. Give my best to Jane and Boy, er, Jack.


Tarzan:  Sure thing. Come again soon. Next time, take a boat, and I'll be sure to kill you a water buffalo. We'll have a big party. Maybe Jack will come instead of staying out all night swinging with his ape buddies. Kids these days, everyone is getting so civilized.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

What's Abigail Reading? Jouanah A Hmong Cinderella

This week Abigail is reading a book based in her home country of China. It's Jouanah A Hmong Cinderella, by Jewell Reinhart Coburn and Tzexa Cherta Lee. It's a story about a Chinese Cinderella. Let's see what she has to say about it.

Here's what Abigail says the book is about.


 Jouanah a Hmong Cinderella is a book about Jouanah, a beautiful girl who wants to go to the festival but her stepmother does not want her to go.  The characters are Jouanah, the stepmother, and her stepsister. In the beginning Jouanah’s mother got turned into a cow for food and drink. Her father foolishly married another women and Jouanah’s real mom died of a broken heart.  

Next, her stepmother made Jouanah do all of the chores.  When the New Year festival came around her stepmother made her do a long list of chores and told her she could not go to the festival.   Jouanah got to the festival but with a piece of cowhide and found a basket filled with clothes. When she went to the festival no one knew who she was and after all the play at the festival she met a boy named Shee-Nang. When Jouanah went running home so that her stepmother won’t notice that she had been gone, one of the slippers that she was wearing fell off.  

Finally Shee-Nang found the slipper and went to every house to find his love.  Shee-Nang found Jouanah, the love that he wanted, and married Jouanah and lived HAPPILY EVER AFTER!!

So, Abigail, what's the theme of the story?


Theme: Always be wise and not foolish because when Jouanah’s father married another woman, that is when the trouble started happening and if he didn’t marry the women the whole problem wouldn’t happen.


Hmmm, interesting. So, how did Abigail rate Jouanah A Hmong Cinderella, by Jewell Reinhart Coburn and Tzexa Cherta LeeI?

She gave it five out of five dolphins!



Friday, April 4, 2014

A Writer's Week #109: The Series is a Trilogy--For Now

Things have been hopping since my last Writer's Week post. In that time, the Deliverers Series became a trilogy with the release of The Deliverers 3: The Golden Dragon of Ang. Of course, I won't be stopping there. I'm currently working on The Deliverers 4. For now, though, it's pretty cool to say I've written a trilogy for some reason--probably because I grew up totally in love with The Lord of the Rings.

In addition to that, I had a very successful promo. The Kindle versions of the first two books in the series (Sharky & the Jewel and Order of the Crystal Lion) were 99 cents each for a week. Thank you to everyone who have supported myself and the series so enthusiastically!

Finally, today I received the paperback copies of The Golden Dragon of Ang. I'm looking forward to getting out, enjoying some warmer weather, and seeing everyone at some shows. I've lined up a show in Madison, CT on May 17th, and I'm hoping to add more as the spring progresses.

Now that the good news is out of the way, it's time for an update on The Deliverers 4. I wrote a little bit this week, but not half as much as I wanted. I was only able to write 1,000. That brings book 4 to 12,500 words over 53 pages and 11 chapters. With things hopping both with book 3 and at work, I've been having trouble focusing on writing this past month and a half. It's been extremely frustrating to me, because I've worked hard to discipline myself to crank out at least 2,000 words a week. I'm going to have to make an effort to rededicate myself to hit my goal. We'll see how that works out. I'll update you next week!


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

What's Christian Reading? The Deliverers 3: The Golden Dragon of Ang

The celebration of the release of The Deliverers 3: The Golden Dragon of Ang continues this week. Christian has read the book, which is surprising because in his soon to be teenage brain he has the idea that it's not cool to read books his father writes. To my surprise, he read the proof copy with very little pleading on my part. Hmmm, maybe he's hooked in spite of himself. Anyway, here are his thoughts on the book.

Here's what Christian says the book is about.


This book is well written. The characters seem real and not fake. I would recommend this book for children ages 9-13. This book is the best one in the series.
Some of the parts I found exciting where when the main characters had to sneak out of Ang’s capital and find Eric and Kate, when they had to escape the Serpent Fortress and when they had to find the legendary island. This book is very exciting and is a very interesting read.


Some of the main characters include Kang, Jiao, The Fang, that Denchi dude who helps them out, and the Golden Dragon of Ang.
When Eric and his friends Kate, Stig the owl and Hallo the dwarf enter the special doors that lead to the “hallway of worlds” they are always plunged into an adventure of mystery and intrigue. Last time it was the Vynestri and Selango, this time it is the five Dragon Islands and the search for the missing Dragon's Voice. What will happen in this exciting installment of the Deliverers series? Find out today!
Bless his soul, I actually think he was trying to slide in a sales pitch at the end there. So how did Christian rate The Golden Dragon of Ang? 
He gave it 4.95 out of 5 flaming monkey heads (he's always been tough, this is pretty good!).


Monday, March 31, 2014

What's Abigail Reading? The Deliverers: Sharky & the Jewel

With the release of the latest book in The Deliverers Series, The Golden Dragon of Ang, my children wanted to mark the event by sharing their thoughts on the books. At first I was reluctant, but they really wanted to and finally managed to convince me. Today is Abigail's turn. She's going to tell us a little about the first book in the series, Sharky & the Jewel. Christian will stop by on Wednesday to share his thoughts on The Golden Dragon of Ang. 

Here's what Abigail says the book is about.

In the book the main characters are Kate, Eric, Stig and Hallo. They go through secret doors to different places to save the lands. This book is mainly about trying to defeat Sharky the pirate.

First, Eric had a bad dream about losing his dad. He heard an owl talking that night and the owl was named Stig. He lead Eric to a secret door. When they went through the door they were on an island. Next, Kate--a girl who lived there--went looking for Eric and Stig. Kate was planning to meet them there. When they met she told them about Sharky, the person who came to their island and ordered them around.

Then they had to think about a way to get rid of Sharky and his crew. Finally they thought of a plan and met a new friend named Hallo. Hallo helped with the plan, too. When Sharky came to the island they were waiting for him. They got the gem from Sharky.

They used the ring they got from the Guardian a twirled it in the air to get the ring from Sharky. After that, Eric and Stig had to go back home. hey said goodbye to everyone from Calendria, even Hallo and Kate their best friends, and left. There are still more trips to come!

So, how did Abigail rate The Deliverers: Sharky & the Jewel, by--um--me?

She gave it four and a half out of five dolphins.