From Adults to Teens and Everything In Between

From Adults to Teens and Everything In Between

Friday, December 31, 2010

Writing Goals - 2011

You can't escape it....we are on the brink of a new year. Looking over the past year are there any particular writing accomplishments you are proud of? Any new goals you would like to set?

Here at FictionFlurry we have started a encouraging one another by emailing our daily word count and posting it on our Facebook page.

If your not a friend of ours stop by and check out our progress. My personal writing goals are as follows: Write every day...even if it's just a paragraph. Finish my third novel entitled The Generation, attend one writer's conference, read more...both fiction and writing craft books.
Some dream goals: Nab that publishing contract, obtain literary representation.

How about you? What are your writing goals?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Book Giveaway: "Bitter Legacy" by H. Terrell Griffin

Bitter Legacy (Matt Royal Mysteries)
It's been a while since Fiction Flurry has done a contest or giveaway, hasn't it?  How about this...between Sunday, December 26 and Sunday, January 2, 2011, leave a comment with your New Year's resolution, and you'll be entered for a chance to win a hard copy of H. Terrell Griffin's Bitter Legacy. 

We'd love to see some resolutions about your writing goals for 2011, if you're are the writerly type.  If you're not a writer, let us know what you're focusing on for the coming year.  And if you leave a comment, please check back with Fiction Flurry to see if you've won.  Heck, even if you don't leave a comment, come back to Fiction Flurry any old time you like. 

What's your resolution for 2011?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Last Minute Christmas Gifts for Teen Readers

Okay all you last minute Christmas shoppers, I have a list here that will help you buy novels for the teen reader in your life. Here are my recommendations (in no particular order) for hot Young Adult books that are currently on the shelves.


(Book Two in a Series. Book One: Perfect Chemistry)
When Carlos Fuentes returns to America after living in Mexico for a year, he doesn’t want any part of the life his older brother, Alex, has laid out for him at a high school in Colorado . Carlos likes living his life on the edge and wants to carve his own path—just like Alex did. Then he meets Kiara Westford. She doesn’t talk much and is completely intimidated by Carlos’ wild ways. As they get to know one another, Carlos assumes Kiara thinks she’s too good for him, and refuses to admit that she might be getting to him. But he soon realizes that being himself is exactly what Kiara needs right now.


Seventeen-year-old Lennie Walker, bookworm and band geek, plays second clarinet and spends her time tucked safely and happily in the shadow of her fiery older sister, Bailey. But when Bailey dies abruptly, Lennie is catapulted to center stage of her own life—and, despite her nonexistent history with boys, suddenly finds herself struggling to balance two. Toby was Bailey's boyfriend; his grief mirrors Lennie's own. Joe is the new boy in town, a transplant from Paris whose nearly magical grin is matched only by his musical talent. For Lennie, they're the sun and the moon; one boy takes her out of her sorrow, the other comforts her in it. But just like their celestial counterparts, they can't collide without the whole wide world exploding.

This remarkable debut is perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen, Deb Caletti, and Francesca Lia Block. Just as much a celebration of love as it is a portrait of loss, Lennie's struggle to sort her own melody out of the noise around her is always honest, often hilarious, and ultimately unforgettable.


Frannie Cavanaugh is a good Catholic girl with a bit of a wicked streak. She has spent years keeping everyone at a distance—-even her closest friends—-and it seems as if her senior year is going to be more of the same . . . until Luc Cain enrolls in her class. No one knows where he came from, but Frannie can’t seem to stay away from him.

What she doesn’t know is that Luc is on a mission. He’s been sent from Hell itself to claim Frannie’s soul. It should be easy—-all he has to do is get her to sin, and Luc is as tempting as they come. Frannie doesn’t stand a chance. But he has to work fast, because if the infernals are after her, the celestials can’t be far behind. And sure enough, it’s not long before the angel Gabriel shows up, willing to do anything to keep Luc from getting what he came for. It isn’t long before they find themselves fighting for more than just Frannie’s soul.

But if Luc fails, there will be Hell to pay . . . for all of them.


Calla Tor has always known her destiny: After graduating from the Mountain School, she'll be the mate of sexy alpha wolf Ren Laroche and fight with him, side by side, ruling their pack and guarding sacred sites for the Keepers. But when she violates her masters' laws by saving a beautiful human boy out for a hike, Calla begins to question her fate, her existence, and the very essence of the world she has known. By following her heart, she might lose everything— including her own life. Is forbidden love worth the ultimate sacrifice?


Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It's gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie's estranged father--an elusive European warlock--only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it's her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.

By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tagalong ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire on campus. Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect.

As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her.


Violet Ambrose is grappling with two major issues: Jay Heaton and her morbid secret ability. While the sixteen-year-old is confused by her new feelings for her best friend since childhood, she is more disturbed by her "power" to sense dead bodies—or at least those that have been murdered. Since she was a little girl, she has felt the echoes the dead leave behind in the world . . . and the imprints that attach to their killers.

Violet has never considered her strange talent to be a gift; it mostly just led her to find dead birds her cat left for her. But now that a serial killer is terrorizing her small town, and the echoes of the local girls he's claimed haunt her daily, Violet realizes she might be the only person who can stop him.

Despite his fierce protectiveness over her, Jay reluctantly agrees to help Violet find the murderer—and Violet is unnerved by her hope that Jay's intentions are much more than friendly. But even as she's falling intensely in love, Violet is getting closer and closer to discovering a killer . . . and becoming his prey herself.


Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn’t think she’s the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She’s also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her “the Duff,” she throws her Coke in his face.

But things aren’t so great at home right now, and Bianca is desperate for a distraction. She ends up kissing Wesley. Worse, she likes it. Eager for escape, Bianca throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with him.

Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out Wesley isn’t such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she’s falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.


(Book Two in the Series. Book One: HUSH HUSH)
Nora Grey's life is still far from perfect. Surviving an attempt on her life wasn't pleasant, but atleast she got a guardian angel out of it: a mysterious, magnetic, gorgeous guardian angel. But, despite his role in her life, Patch has been acting anything but angelic. He's more elusive than ever and even worse, he's started spending time with Nora's arch-enemy, Marcie Millar.

Nora would have hardly noticed Scott Parnell, an old family friend who has moved back to town, if Path hadnt been acting so distant. Even with Scott's totally infuriating attitude Nora finds herself drawn to him - despite her lingering feeling that he's hiding something.

Haunted by images of her murdered father, and questioning whether her nephilim bloodline has anything to do with his death, Nora puts herself increasingly in dangerous situations as she desperatly searches for answers. But maybe some things are better left buried, because the truth could destroy everything - and everyone - she trusts.


(Second Book in the Series. Book One is DEMON PRINCESS)

Fresh from finding out that she is a demon princess, fighting her aunt for her life, and rescuing her father from being poisoned, Nikki Donovan is looking forward to getting back to her regular high school life. But when Rhys, the handsome king of the faery realm, decides to show up at her school as a "foreign exchange student," Nikki knows this won't be possible. Couple with this a whole host of other problems: there's a new prophecy that claims she will destroy everyone. Her conflicted feelings for Rhys and her boyfriend, Michael, are getting in the way of their relationship. Her best friend Melinda just might be a demon-slayer-in-training, and her old crush Chris might know of her demon side. Throw in a field trip to none other than Hell itself … and Nikki's going to be hoping for a rain check on more than just her homework!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Book Review: "Bitter Legacy" by H. Terrell Griffin

Bitter Legacy (Matt Royal Mysteries)

Full disclosure, here, folks. Oceanview Publishing sent me an advance review copy of H. Terrell Griffin's Bitter Legacy, a December 20, 2010 release.  The 360 page novel is the fifth "Matt Royal Mystery" for the author.  Though I had not read any of the previous books in the series, I did not feel lost or left behind. 

Florida's Gulf Coast is as much a character in this book as Matt Royal, so if you've spent time there, you'll appreciate the vivid descriptions of place in this book.  The main character, Matt Royal, is a now retired special ops military dude who later dabbled as a trial lawyer.  Now he drinks beer and goes fishing with his buds, except for when he's trying to avoid getting killed.  Someone is trying to eliminate Matt and his friend Logan, but they have no idea why.  Matt puts his military experience to good use by picking off bad guys who are trying to off him. 

From the beginning, the pacing is very quick and the action is intense.  Matt is a man's man, to be sure.  He seems to be the type to sample the chick du jour, and in this book, Matt takes an interest in a new detective to the island, J.D. Duncan.   Matt's time is consumed, however, with trying to figure out why he and his friend are targets.  He eventually finds a link between the target on his back and Florida's Seminole Indians and their past dealings with the United States government.  The reader gets an interesting history lesson in the region's native population and their link to African American slaves.

From a reader's perspective, Bitter Legacy was a fast read filled with action, and would make a nice gift for a manly man.  That said, coming from a woman's perspective, the book was certainly not unpalatable for a gal's taste, either.  The main character is able to get in touch with his feelings on brief occasions, though there's not much time for emotion when you're trying to avoid being killed.

From a writer's perspective, my eye was a bit more critical, though it did not ruin the experience.  The book was written in both first and third person, which was a little discombobulating for me.  Some chapters were written from the main character's perspective, and all others were written in third person.  Additionally, some chapters were very short, only a couple pages.  There were a few chapters like this that could have been eliminated because they did not further the plot or reveal the unraveling mystery. 

Further, there were some editorial hiccups that made me stop reading from time-to-time so I could figure out if what I was seeing was error or purposeful.  For example, the book is organized into events that occur on each day for a week.  The book starts on a Saturday, which is made quite clear because an entire page is devoted to just the word "Saturday" before chapter one even begins.  However, in the second paragraph of chapter one, the following sentence appears:  "It was Friday, and there was a hint of expectancy lingering in the thin spring air, relief that another week was about over, that the weekend beckoned."  A nice sentence overall, save for the confusion in time.  I also noticed the spelling of a minor character's name spelled two different ways.

There were good things about the writing, too.  The author is masterful at painting the scenery, and does a good job with plotting.  The main character is someone you grow to care about, which is always a plus in a novel!

Since Fiction Flurry is mainly a writing blog, I felt the duty to offer a review of the writing as well as of the reading.  Regardless, for a quick read over this holiday break, it would make a good gift for an action-loving guy in your life. 

Come back next week for a chance to win a copy of Bitter Legacy by H. Terrell Griffin!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Because Santa Said So!

Back when I was five years old, my best friend in the whole world was a little boy who lived down the lane named Teddy. We had practically everything in common. We both had tag-along little brothers who were the bane of our existence and whom we tortured endlessly. We both loved to play outside, all the more so after our mothers had called us in and we feigned temporary deafness. We both adored going barefoot in the warmer months. Essentially, all the most important qualifications for a childhood friendship.

But, alas. One day a terrible rift surfaced in our relationship.

For, you see, Teddy’s birthday fell in the languid summer months, and mine fell in the cool autumnal season. And so that September, I watched from my second floor bedroom window while my friend, Teddy, climbed the black, rubber-treaded steps of the yellow Indian Run School bus. Tears of the unfairness of it all, the blistering envy that I felt, puddled in the corners of my eyes. Teddy had started Kindergarten, and I would have to wait an entire year until I could go.

My greatest desire in the whole wide world at that tender age was to learn to read. I would sit upon my father’s lap while he read to me in the sinking light of the evenings, wondering in awe at the hieroglyphics that tap danced from their inky residence on the page and sprang to life with my father’s tenor voice.

Do you know a child like this? Is there a little bookworm in your life?

This Christmas, in addition to the bikes, the Disney movies, the action figures and the Wii games, I urge you to buy a child in your life a BOOK. (More than one is even better). Give a child the greatest possible gift – the gift of endless imagination. Reading is the foundation of learning, so encourage children this holiday toward achievement. Support their desire to read.

There are many fabulous choices out there. Here are but a few:

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder

The Lion, The The Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

Charlotte's Web by E.B. White
What about you?
What book will you be giving to kids this year?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Writing Suspense

I love reading and writing suspense novels. There's nothing more satisfying to an author than to hear those magic words, "I couldn't put your book down, I just had to finish it!"

Even if you don't write in the suspense genre, you can benefit from these tips from James Scott Bell to take your fiction to the next level.

1. Create a character your readers will care about. Then...put them up a tree, throw rocks at them, and get them back down.

2. What is your main character's biggest fear? Make them face it.

3. When you find that a scene is moving slow...bring in a man (or woman) with a gun. When a character shows up with a gun, action always follows.

What are some of your favorite writing tips?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

On Writing Without Eyeglasses…Guest Post by Holly Schindler

On Writing Without Eyeglasses…

I graduated with my master’s degree in the spring of 2001, and decided to nix the idea of a full-time job in order to pursue a writing career—my lifelong dream. This was possible, of course, only because of the incredible—INCREDIBLE—financial support I received from my family. I know—very ROOM OF ONE’S OWN. That support allowed me the freedom to spend my time drafting enough manuscripts to form a pile that stretches from the floor to the ceiling in my office! A mere (ahem) seven and a half years after grad school, I snagged my first publishing deal…A BLUE SO DARK, my debut novel, was released in May 2010.

…After all that time spent writing project after project, if I could give writers just one piece of drafting advice? Take off your glasses.

Yup, take ‘em off completely…

I drafted the entirety of A BLUE SO DARK in late 2006…only took about two months. The reason I was able to write at such an incredible pace was because I took my glasses off as I wrote—I’m so nearsighted, the print COMPLETELY disappeared from my screen. The beautiful part was, if I couldn’t SEE what I’d just written, I couldn’t second-guess it. So my internal editor was silenced. Completely. And it really didn’t take any effort to silence her. She was just…gone.

Sure, the book was revised globally about four different times in the next two years. But revising for me is always far easier than drafting. I’d much prefer to be reworking something that’s already down in draft form than trying to come up with something from scratch.

…And one thing I’ve heard repeatedly from bloggers about BLUE is that it’s honest… But I think the reason I GOT that honesty is because of the blind first draft. That stark truthfulness was there from the get-go.

So, all you drafters out there (even those of you currently in the midst of NaNoWriMo), put those glasses down—or turn off or cover your screen…Remove the temptation to read that last sentence. Not only will your internal editor fade away, but you’ll actually forget about the potential audience, too…It’ll just be you and your words flowing as naturally as the thoughts in your own head…Which will make YOUR book brutally honest, and your main character seem flesh-and-blood real!

--Holly Schindler

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