2013 in review, see you in 2014!! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,700 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Thin Space by Jody Casella

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

I would first like to thank Jody Casella’s publisher for sending me this wonderful book!

THIN SPACE is the story of a boy who is lost.  Not in the physical sense of the word, but in that emotionally crippling way only a tragic loss can deliver.  The death of his twin brother has put Marsh in a bad place and he sees only one way to make himself whole again–find a thin space and make his wrong, right. He’s secretive about his plans and his parents and fellow students look past his odd behavior and write it off as part of his grieving process.  His desire to find one of these mythical thin spaces has driven him to go barefoot everywhere, for months, hoping to step through one by luck. He believes they’re created when a person dies in the same place where they were born, and so he spends his every waking moment searching for likely thin spaces. But winter is coming…and Marsh’s friends and family are losing patience with his desire to go barefoot everywhere. They’re worried he might get frostbite.

Then a new family moves into a vacant neighboring house, Marsh meets Maddie, and Maddie joins the search, for her own reasons. The school faculty is over it. One kid going barefoot was bad enough, and two is unacceptable. Marsh is running out of time before they make him put shoes back on and give up his search.

But everything may not be as it seems, and this book strings the reader along with a series of compelling questions. Why does Marsh blame himself for his brother’s death? We understand that’s why Marsh is so driven to find a thin space, but what’s Maddie’s excuse? Do thin spaces even really exist?

The answers are not all what you’d expect.

This was a compelling book, told in an accessible, but sophisticated voice. Casella’s use of language was beautiful, but utterly authentic and convincing. Her character’s seem like real people, and my heart hurt for Marsh on almost every page. THIN SPACE is a poignant, emotionally moving book, perfect for dreary, cold days when all you want to do is curl up under a blanket and lose yourself in a story!

Oh Sebastian, you silly dog, you will be missed!!!!! <3

“If you have a dog, you will most likely outlive it; to get a dog is to open yourself to profound joy and, prospectively, to equally profound sadness.” -Marjorie Garber

 

For those of you who followed through when Sebastian had his spinal stroke at the end of June and his awesome outcome.  In September we found out that he had lymphoma/leukemia.  He enjoyed his 7th birthday with an actual birthday cake on November 19th!  Sebastian passed away last night.  He will be greatly missed!!!!

 

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Featured Author of the Month…S.T. Cameron

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I would like to introduce to you my featured author of the month, S.T. Cameron.  Author of  ”Grimm End“ , which I have reviewed here: “Grimm End“!  Check out my amazing interview with him!

S.T. Cameron is a computer programmer turned writer who currently lives in Moorhead, Minnesota just across the river from Fargo, North Dakota with his wife, Kay. “We are fortunate in that our two daughters, their husbands and our four awesome grandchildren live nearby.”

When not writing, S.T. Cameron often found listening to audiobooks, reading to his grandchildren or “playing with toys meant for three-year-olds.”

 

 
When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?

I’ve written stories, plays and screenplays ever since I can remember but I never had the confidence to try to get them published. In 2006, I found out about National Novel Writing Month and participated in it producing more than 50,000 words of a novel called Grimm End.

Over the next six years, Grimm End changed and expanded. In 2012, I decided that I would finish the book and publish it. From May to October, I published each chapter of the book on my website as I finished it and in December, 2012, Grimm End appeared on Amazon.com.

Tell us a little bit about your first book or the first book in the series.

Grimm End is the story of seventeen-year-old Sara Cross and her family. She is desperately trying to keep her family from drifting away from each other several years after her father disappeared.

Her already crumbling world is turned upside down when a evil creature attacks her family and they are forced to take refuge with her great-grandfather who she thought had died long ago.

They are thrust into a world of shape shifters, magic wielders and the living dead. As her family is threatened and attacked, she and her brothers must find a way to band together to survive.

How did you choose the genre you write in?

I wanted to write a horror story that included many of the classic monsters of the old horror movies like Dracula, the Mummy, Frankenstein, the Wolf Man and Night of the Living Dead.

Although vampires never made it into the book, you’ll find many of the other classic monsters in one form or another in there.

What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write?

There are many parts of the book that I enjoyed writing but the one that stands out to me is the Tarot card reading that occurs early in the book.

I like how the telling of Madame Zella’s vision weaves in with the card reading and leads up to the turning of the last card.

Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?

All of the creatures and events are obviously purely imagination. The story of Sara and the importance of family to her is partially out of personal experience as I grew up in a dysfunctional family.

Family is important to me and so that theme became an important part of this book.

Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?

In my teenage years, the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien spurred my fascination with the fantasy genre. The Foundation trilogy by Isaac Asimov got me interested in science fiction.

More recently, the Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman inspired me to finally finish my first novel and get started on the next one.

Do you ever experience writers block?

Whenever I find that I have trouble writing a chapter or scene, it’s usually not because I am blocked. It’s usually because that chapter or scene has a problem that prevents it from working as envisioned. Once I identify that problem and fix it, the writing continues on without a problem.

Is there an author that you would really like to meet?

There are three that I’d like to meet; Neil Gaiman who wrote the Graveyard Book and has an awesome storytelling style; John Scalzi who wrote the science fiction series Old Man’s War and can wrap up a story inside a series of puzzles; and Stephen King who wrote so many awesome stories and just knows so much about writing.

Will you have a new book coming out soon? If so, can you tell us about it?

I recently released the second book in my middle-grade adventure series, Young Explorers and the Phantom Express. It follows CJ Kask, an eleven-year-old boy (who also appears as a 100+ year-old man in Grimm End) and his friends as they investigate why a train that crashed 30 years earlier keeps returning to haunt a small town.

Next up for me is the second book in the Grimm End series, Grimm End: the Curse of the Werebear. It will continue the story started in Grimm End with a focus on Daniel as he is accused of the murders of several people around Shadow Bluffs while he is changed into bear form.

If you could go back and do it all over again, is there any aspect of your first novel or getting it published that you would change?

I enjoyed writing Grimm End and while there is always some tweaking that could be done with any book, I don’t think I would change anything with the story.

The one thing that I would change is that I would have had more confidence in my writing and finished the book back in 2006 and not waited until 2012 to publish it.

Do you have any advise to give to aspiring writers?

The advice that I have for aspiring writers can be found many places on the Internet because it is absolutely true.

You should write as much as possible, finish what you write and get it out to readers. Then, start over on your next project.

By not doing this, Grimm End sat on my computer for 6 years. By doing this, I’ve written three novels in a year.

Is there anything you would like to say to your readers and fans?

Thank you. I appreciate each and every one of my readers and enjoy hearing your reactions to my books. I hope you keep reading and telling others about them.

 

-Once again thank you S.T. Cameron for the wonderful chance to get to know you and don’t forget to check out his books!!!!

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