Monday, March 28, 2016

Cover Reveal - Espionage

  Record!!! I've never done five posts in one month before! But anyway, this about my friend/fellow author Morgan Elizabeth Huneke's newest book.  A companion to her Time Captives Trilogy, I'm looking forward to the release of this book. It should be awesome! :) But first, Morgan kindly answered some questions for me. (Isn't she amajing?!)

How do you go about planning a book?
It really depends on the book, but I try to figure out my major plot points. I have to know my general storyline, though if I try to plot out any details beforehand, they usually change when I get there. When I come to a blank section of the story and I am stuck, I write out a list of events that need to happen before the next plot point. I'm sort of a cross between a plotter and a pantser.

How long does it usually to write a book?
Again, it depends on the book. I've gotten to the point where I can write one draft of a middle grade book in a couple months fairly easily, but trying to write my first YA in a few months has been a major challenge. I think it's usually about two to three years from the beginning of the draft to publication, though.

Do you have any tips for editing?
Go through your manuscript with a fine tooth comb. Don't be afraid to cut, add, or rewrite. Listen to the feedback you get.  Try to pick up on your bad writing habits so you can correct them. Learn what good writing is, and strive towards it. And save it as a new draft. Even if you only end up wanting those previous drafts for posterity's sake, it's still good to  have them just in case.

And now for the cover!

You can get a sneak peek at the book here!

Morgan Elizabeth Huneke is a homeschool graduate who lives in Georgia. She has enjoyed creating characters and writing stories since early childhood. Her other interests include reading, playing the piano and violin, and politics. She is the author of Across the Stars and The Experiment as well as the Time Captives fantasy trilogy.

Find my new blog here.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

"Fairies Die if You Ignore Them!"

   Many of y'all may not recognize this quote, but it's from Peter Pan in Scarlet. This book is the only authorized sequel to Peter Pan, and it's stunning! Though unlike the original in style, it is still amazing. The adventure begins when dreams leak from Neverland. Wendy and the Lost Boys who came back at the end of Peter Pan worry that something may have happened to Peter. They must get back, but how?
   Do they get back? Has something happened to the Marvelous Boy? Why are the dreams leaking out? There's only one way to find out! Read Peter Pan in Scarlet, available herehere, and here.

Things for Writers to Note:
1.) The plot is original and well thought out.
2.) The backstory is well-done.
3.) New characters fit story well.

Writing Challenge:
Use steel and snow in the same metaphor. (Yes, I know that's rather Tolkien-ish.)

   Did anyone do last month's challenge about orange? I used it as a wall color of all things. What did y'all do? I'd love to hear from y'all about it! So leave me a comment.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Cooper and the Holy Spirit

   This is Cooper. (Actually, it's Cooper and my younger brother Kendal,  but that's beside the point.)

   Cooper has two great desires. The first one is to be  loved by us, his people, and the second is to protect us from all danger. He is willing to bring us joy and comfort when we need it. He is willing to both warn and guard us. He loves to give joy but stands firm in danger.
   The Holy Spirit is similar. He prompts us to praise and worship God, thus giving us joy. He wants us to love Him because that is what is best for us. When sin - danger - draws near, He warns us. He guards us in time f trouble. These are His two great desires, for us to love Him and to protect us.
   If I listen to Cooper, I know when someone is coming. If I listen to the Holy Spirit, I know when sin is tempting. I don't do it perfectly. Sometimes I tell Him to hush like I do to Cooper and sin in doing so. I grieve Him. (See Eph. 4:30.)  But I try to listen to Him more everyday.
   Do you? As Easter comes closer, we should all ask this question. Do I truly try to listen to the Holy Spirit?  Or do I tell Him to hush like He is just a noisy dog?

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Galadriel's Waves

   You don't have to be a Lord of the Rings fan to admire Galadriel's perfect hair. Long, wavy, beautiful. What more do you want? 

   Today, I'll help you make those very waves. There are two methods for y'all to use, a non-heat and a heat. The heat method is quicker, but the non-heat is less damaging. So take your pick. If you have long, blond hair, I insist you try at least one of them!

Galadriel's Waves

Non-Heat Method:
1- Wash your hair as normal.
2- Comb your hair gently and remove all knots.
3- Add a cream, mousse, or gel thoroughly throughout your hair.
4- Divide hair into three equal sections, right, left, and back.
5- Divide the right section in half so that you have a top and bottom.
6- Loosely braid the bottom section and then the top one. (You want to braid super loosely. Remember Galadriel's waves are very soft.)
7- Repeat steps 5&6 on the left section.
8- Repeat steps 5&6 on the back section.
9- Allow the braids to dry completely. You may want to sleep with them in.
10- Take down braids and shake hair gently to break up clumps.

Heat Method:
1- Plug in straightening iron.
2- Lightly spray dry hair with hairspray.
3- Perform steps 4-8 from above.
4- Run straightener slowly over each braid. Repeat if necessary.
5- Take down braids and gently shake loose hair.
6- Repeat step 3 and leave braids in for at least 20 minutes.
7- Take braids down.

   So there y'all go. Piece of free advice, don't use the non-heat method if you have brothers. You'd never hear the end of it. ;) Sadly though, that is the better of the two methods.

Find my new blog here.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

"All Children, Except One, Grow Up"

   That is of course the opening line to J.M. Barrie's classic book, Peter Pan. This ageless story tells of Wendy, John, and Michael Darling's adventures in the wondrous Neverland with Peter Pan. Unlike in the Disney movie, their adventures together are deadly and thrilling. Peter, though brave, is often childish and quite full of himself, but that does nothing to take away from magic of this tale. It is available herehere, or here. You can also check it out  here.
Things for Writers to Note:
1.) Style is readable, well written, and original.
2.) Characters are believable and constant but not predictable.
3.) Memorable villain is very cruel and not over done.
4.) The villain also has his own fear.

   I forgot to mention it last time, but each 'Books' post will now also include a Writing Challenge. Each challenge is to be completed by y'all before the next 'Books' post, and I'll be trying to do the same. If you complete it, please leave a comment telling me so. Also, please feel free to share or repost each challenge. Ready for this?
Writing Challenge One: Use the color orange in an unusual way. That means no food, no clothes, no fire, and no sunsets.
Have fun, and be sure to rate this post below!