Thoughts on a Classic-Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt

tuck-everlasting

Beware, there are spoilers ahead!

I decided to re-read Tuck Everlasting because the story held a special sort of magic for me when I was young. As I read it as an adult, I was able to appreciate the story more. I was also able to better understand the messages that the author was trying to convey to the reader.

One of the big questions in the story is whether or not having eternal life would be desirable or undesirable. I feel that the type of eternal life presented in the book (one where a person would live forever, lose the ability to change and be stuck at a certain age) would not be desirable, at least not for me. I think that aging is a privilege and that the author was trying to convey that life loses it’s meaning without it. We only have a short amount of time to live our lives and although it may sound cliche, I ascribe to the idea that life’s moments are more precious because they are limited. However, I do feel that being stuck in one’s twenties or early teens might be exciting at first, but would probably grow boring over hundreds of years.

One of the questions that I had while reading the story was about whether or not the Tucks were able to learn or were their brains stuck as well. This isn’t addressed directly in the story, but by judging by the behavior of Jesse, it would seem that at least the maturity level of a person who drinks from the spring, is arrested as well. I think that not being able to learn anymore would be a horrible fate for anyone.

I thought that the author did an excellent job of explaining why the type of eternal life that she describes would not be desirable. She speaks about how individuals would feel if they had eternal life and the societal implications as well. She makes it clear that once people knew about the spring, they would find a way to monetize it.

I really enjoyed re-reading this story. I especially liked the dialogue, the poignancy of the novel, and the idea that making the right choices in life is often difficult. I also liked the relationship that Winnie developed with the Tucks. I thought it was interesting that she didn’t spend a great deal of time with them and yet she was able to develop a deep love for them. Overall, this book was an excellent read.

New Poetry Book!

rack card starter

Hi Everyone,

I’ve been working on a poetry book for the past several months and I wanted to share some information about it. The book will contain fifty poems that deal with different topics. I categorized the book into five different sections that include the following subjects: nature, mankind, music, dismal thoughts and the metaphysical. This is my first poetry book and I hope to have it published in about two weeks.  The book will be available on CreateSpace and Amazon.

Here is a brief summary from the back cover:

Ephemeral Thoughts is Avery Griffin’s first poetry book and second published work. Griffin has imbued her passion for nature, fantasy, science fiction, and many more subjects into the poetry found in this book. Readers will be taken on a journey of Griffin’s thoughts as they delve into the poems, such as “Creatures of the Night,” “Silent Forest,” and “To Mankind.” Readers are sure to enjoy the photography and digital images that accompany a number of the poems in this collection. The images are meant to enhance the reader’s experience; these visual components were designed to complement the writing itself. Readers of all ages will be delighted by this thoughtful collection of poems.

-Avery

Book Review: The Radiant Road by Katherine Catmull

Title: The Radiant Road — by Katherine Catmull

Release Date: January 19, 2016

Page Count: 368

ISBN-13: 978-0525953470

Summary from Amazon

After years of living in America, Clare Macleod and her father are returning to Ireland, where they’ll inhabit the house Clare was born in—a house built into a green hillside with a tree for a wall. For Clare, the house is not only full of memories of her mother, but also of a mysterious boy with raven-dark hair and dreamlike nights filled with stars and magic. Clare soon discovers that the boy is as real as the fairy-making magic, and that they’re both in great danger from an ancient foe.

My Review:

The Radiant Road was a very interesting read. The magic throughout the story was quite strange, but I was still able to enjoy the story. I found it difficult to get into the story at first, but once the action picked up a bit I was hooked. The cover of the book attracted me right away and I also liked the tree graphic that is found at the beginning of each chapter.

This story is very much about nature and humanity’s connection to it. Throughout the story, Claire’s connection to her tree is very important. She grows closer to her tree during the story and feels a need to protect it because she its guardian.The author tries to convey that all trees are connected and perhaps this was meant to imply that all humans are connected as well. During the story, Claire even becomes a tree and gets a sense of what it’s like to feel a connection with her Yew and other neighboring trees. Perhaps, the author was also trying to convey that humanity is the guardian of nature and as such, people have a responsibility to protect and care for it.

I enjoyed reading about many of the characters in the story. I think that Finn was my favorite character, but I also liked Claire, Her of the Cliffs and the Yew girl. I felt that the characters were interesting and often unique.

I thought that the imagery in the book was quite beautiful. The author’s writing was very poetic and she often created vivid images and scenes. My favorite part of the book was when Finn shows Claire a field filled with falling snow and fluttering white butterflies. I was able to picture this scene very clearly and thought that it was creative and beautiful.

Overall, I enjoyed this book a great deal even though it was strange at times. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading about fairies.

The Black Bead by J. D. Lakey – Free E-book Today

Hi Everyone,

The Black Bead by J. D. Lakey will be free today on Amazon. I read and reviewed the book and thought that it was a very interesting and compelling read. I hope that you will take advantage of this great opportunity to download the book for free.

-Avery

Download The Black Bead for Free

Summary for The Black Bead (from the inside flap)

What if you were on a colony ship and your spacecraft landed on a planet where all the animals and some of the plants were psychic? Not just psychic but psychically adept at manipulating their environment?

If you were a band of renegade scientists, you would genetically alter yourself and your children to be able to compete in the savage world of escalating mind games and then create a social system that honed the skills that would keep you alive.

Cheobawn has been born into just such a world. Two thousand years after planet-fall, she is the culmination of human bio-engineering. She doesn’t think of herself as special. Just the opposite, in fact. But the universe is shifting out from under her feet and she is forced to keep up with the changes happening inside her and the expectations of the adults of her tribal dome.

Author Interview with Pembroke Sinclair

Hi Everyone,

I did an interview with Pembroke Sinclair about her upcoming book release, Wucaii. The book  is an urban fantasy novel that will be released sometime in June of this year. Pembroke is a prolific writer who enjoys writing in different genres. I hope that you enjoy reading the interview.

-Avery

Interview with Pembroke Sinclair

1. Where are you from?
I’m from Wyoming.

2. What genre are your books?
I write in a variety of genres, from sci fi to fantasy to horror, though most of my books have some dark elements in them. I also write adult and young adult fiction.

3. What draws you to this genre?
I am fascinated with the question: What does it mean to be human? And I think the best way to explore the answers to that is by looking at characters that aren’t human.

4. Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
Aelana is a half-human, half-dragon hybrid, and she travels the universe with the full-fledged dragons destroying worlds. This gives the planets the ability to regenerate, but Aelana ensures that not all of the inhabitants are destroyed.

5. How did you come up with the title Wucaii?
I was looking for a word that meant “Royal Dragon,” and I found this in a scientific name for a dinosaur. I liked it, so I used it.

6. What project(s) are you working on currently?
I am currently working on another young adult zombie series. The first book is completed, and it’s called Humanity’s Hope.

7. When did you decide to become a writer?
To be honest, I don’t think anyone ever decides to become a writer, it’s foisted upon us. We have a need and desire to put stories onto paper. If we don’t, we feel hollow and lacking.

8. Why do you write?
The voices in my head won’t leave me alone until I share their story.

9. Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?
Ha! I wish! With a full-time job and two boys under the age of 10, I squeeze in writing when I can.

10. Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?
My first draft is usually written out in longhand, then I transfer the chapters to the computer.

11. Where do your ideas come from?
It depends, but more often than not, they come from my dreams.

12. How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
Ummmm, that’s a good question! I’m not really sure how to answer that. I would like to think I’m getting better at writing and that my stories are concise and to the point, but I’m not sure that’s true.

13. What is the hardest thing about writing?
Finding time and promotion.

14. How long on average does it take you to write a book?
Honestly, it depends on the type of book. For my young adult novels, on average I can have the first draft done in 3 months. For my middle grade books, I like to challenge myself to writing a chapter a day, so I can get those done in 2 weeks with LOTS of editing afterwards.

If it’s nonfiction, on average it takes me a year to complete, mainly because of the amount of research that goes into the book.

15. Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?
I try to read when I can, and I have lots of favorite authors: Christopher Pike, Piers Anthony, Dante, Milton, C.S. Lewis, Lewis Carrol.

16. For your own reading, do you prefer e-books or traditional paper/hard back books?
I don’t have a preference. I love them both. Having an ebook reader means the books are more portable, but there’s nothing better than breaking the spine of a paper copy. Makes the book stay open soooo much better.

17. What is your favorite positive saying?
“You have to follow your own voice. You have to be yourself when you write. In effect, you have to announce, ‘This is me, this is what I stand for, this is what you get when you read me. I’m doing the best I can—buy me or not—but this is who I am as a writer.’”
– David Morrell

18. What is your favorite book and why?
I have a lot of favorite books, but the one I read over and over is Alice in Wonderland. The wonder, excitement, and hidden meanings within the story means I discover something new every time I pick it up.

19. How do you market your books?
I look for reviewers, do blog tours, give away free copies, present at conferences, and do workshops and presentations.

20. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Never give up, but don’t ever stop having fun writing.

21. Is there anything that you would like to tell your readers?
Thank you for checking out my work. You have no idea how much it means to me and how much I appreciate it. You’re the reason I write.

Summary of Wucaii

It has been 500 years since Aelana has been home, and a lot has changed in that time–including her. As a half-dragon, half-human hybrid, she has been traveling the universe destroying worlds. Both anxious and excited to return, she wonders what she will find. Her memories of home are filled with pain and loss, especially for her first and only love. She knows he won’t be there, but will his memory? Will her anguish remain?

What waits for Aelana on her home world? Find out in this exciting urban fantasy novel by Pembroke Sinclair.

About the Author

Pembroke Sinclair is a literary jack of all trades, playing her hand at multiple genres. She has written an eclectic mix of fiction ranging from horror to sci-fi and even some westerns. Born in Rock Springs, Wyoming–the home of 56 nationalities–it is no wonder Pembroke ended up so creatively diverse. Her fascination with the notions of good and evil, demons and angels, and how the lines blur have inspired her writing. Pembroke lives in Laramie, Wyoming, with her husband, two spirited boys, a black lab named Ryder, and a rescue kitty named Alia, who happens to be the sweetest, most adorable kitty in the world! She cannot say no to dessert, orange soda, or cinnamon. She loves rats and tatts and rock and roll and wants to be an alien queen when she grows up.

Pembroke Sinclair’s Links

Blog
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus
Goodreads Author Page
Amazon Author Page
Wucaii Goodreads Link  

 

Photo of Pembroke Sinclair

Book Review: The Black Bead by J. D. Lakey

Title: The Black Bead — by J. D. Lakey

Release Date: January 10, 2016

Page Count: 162

ISBN-13: 978-0692609477

 

Summary for The Black Bead (from the inside flap)

What if you were on a colony ship and your spacecraft landed on a planet where all the animals and some of the plants were psychic? Not just psychic but psychically adept at manipulating their environment?

If you were a band of renegade scientists, you would genetically alter yourself and your children to be able to compete in the savage world of escalating mind games and then create a social system that honed the skills that would keep you alive.

Cheobawn has been born into just such a world. Two thousand years after planet-fall, she is the culmination of human bio-engineering. She doesn’t think of herself as special. Just the opposite, in fact. But the universe is shifting out from under her feet and she is forced to keep up with the changes happening inside her and the expectations of the adults of her tribal dome.

My Review

The Black Bead was a very interesting and compelling book. The book was a quick read and I had a difficult time putting it down. The story was very intriguing and had interesting characters as well. I liked the fact that the book contained a map and two glossaries. I found these items to be quite helpful as I was reading.

J. D. Lakey did a wonderful job with imagery throughout the story. I could clearly picture every situation. The author created a lush and vibrant world that was filled with dangers that left the reader wondering whether the characters would be able to survive or not. Speaking of characters, they were very interesting and well-developed. My favorite characters were Cheobawn and Tam who showed great courage throughout the story and matured by the end of the book.

I liked the way J. D. Lakey incorporated different mystical elements into the story. Many of the characters had psychic abilities and Cheobawn, the main character, was able to manipulate her own chi. These mystical elements were interwoven seamlessly into the Cheobawn’s world.

Link to download The Black Bead:

http://www.amazon.com/Black-Bead-Book-One-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B01AIK7OSM/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

Author Interview with J. A. George and E-book Giveaway!

Hi Everyone,

I did an interview with J.A. George, a YA fantasy writer from the UK. J.A. George will be giving away 2 e-copies of her new book Gifted. To enter the giveaway just scroll to the bottom of the interview and click on the link. Good luck to everyone!

-Avery

Interview with J. A. George

1. When and why did you begin writing?
I have always loved to write, but I didn’t begin writing with the intention to publish until late 2013. I began writing GIFTED because I wanted to read it. I wanted to read a contemporary YA fantasy novel that didn’t feature instant-love, ‘the chosen one’ or a young woman born in a dystopian society, and so I wrote one. I started off with a basic plot line and before long, I was immersed in my fictional world. I wanted to know what happened next, to characters, to relationships and to the story line. So I carried on writing.

2. Where are you from?
London, England, but I’m currently studying in Sheffield.

3. What inspired you to write your first book?
People. I’ve been asked this question many times before and I’ve never really known how to answer it until today. There wasn’t really a moment or catalyst that sparked the idea for the GIFTED series, so I always assumed it was just an idea that popped into my head one afternoon. GIFTED isn’t my first written novel, but it’s my first published one. People inspired it because GIFTED compressed into one line is: a story about ordinary young adults with extra-ordinary gifts. I believe each person has an extra-ordinary gift—it just might not be of the supernatural kind!

4. How did you come up with the title?
It just seemed to fit. My book is about gifted individuals. I thought about other titles, but nothing seemed to work as well for me. There are a few books out there with the same title, hence why I always add the series title when advertising or promoting. GIFTED – The Hayven Series.

5. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Find what makes you different and be it. Simple as that!

6. What books have most influenced your life most?
Believe it or not, Roald Dahl. I feel like I’m repeating myself, but Roald Dahl’s books are usually about ordinary people going through extra-ordinary events. It’s a message that seems to have stuck with me and fascinated me for years.

7. If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Alive? Malorie Blackman. Dead? Roald Dahl.

8. What book are you reading now?
I’ve recently finished The Santa Klaus Murder by Mavis Doriel Hay and I loved it. I never thought I’d be interested in the murder mystery genre, but I really enjoyed this one!

9. Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Karen Joy Fowler. I’m not sure if she is new or not, but she is new to me. I read her novel We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves and can’t wait to read more from her. I just love the way she writes. I can’t describe it or compare it to anyone else I’ve read; it’s just different, and I really like different.

10. What are your current projects?
The second novel in the Gifted series. I’ve still got some work to do on it. Quite a bit actually!

11. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
It’s too soon to tell. GIFTED was published on the 13th of April so it all seems perfect to me now. Yet I know I’ll catch something when I read it in paperback format!

12. Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
My teachers in school used to praise me for my creative writing and it was always nice to have something you’re naturally good at. I didn’t think of it as a career until a few years ago and now it’s all I can think about.

13. Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Sure! How about the first page?

Someone was watching me.

I turned the corner onto Dulscent Street, normally busy at five in the evening, but always deserted when it was raining. I looked back and caught the tail of a long black coat. Or it could have been a long black skirt. Trying to open my eyes wider was pointless because whatever I’d seen had already gone and I only saw what I’d squinted my eyes to avoid – flying strands of my brown hair and stray rain droplets.

A woman stepped out of the dental practice on the other side of the road, her heels clicking on the pavement as she ran to her car, climbed inside and drove off. Only a few other shops were open out of the many lining the street since most owners decided to close early on a Saturday. The dull, cloud-heavy sky drowned the entire town in grey, so I supposed shopping wasn’t what people had in mind.

That’s probably who was watching me, someone on their way home. Why were they staring at me? Well, I did the same thing when it was only me and another person and they couldn’t see me. I shook off the the call is coming from inside the house feeling and carried on up the hill. The wind blustered downwards, coercing my umbrella and me in opposite directions. My boyfriend jacket released itself from my one-handed grip, the zip scratching my palm as it did and flapped behind me. My fault for thinking a jacket one size down from my actual size would fit.

14. Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
At first, I tried to please everyone. I wanted this book to do well and in order for it to do well, it has to sell. It took me two years to realise that pleasing everyone in one book is impossible. So I stopped writing for others and wrote for myself. I’m much happier because of that.

15. Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Again, Roald Dahl. Being able to bring magic to life isn’t easy. Yet, he managed to do it for children and adults. But my favourite book is A Thousand Splendid Suns. I think Khaled Hosseini is a wonderful storyteller.

16. Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
No, but it’s very early days, who knows what might happen. I hope so, though because I love to travel.

17. Who designed the cover(s)?
Alisha from Damonza.com. She’s amazing. I actually wrote a blog post about my book cover journey if you’d like to read more about it:
http://www.thejourneyofgifted.co.uk

18. What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Overcoming the reality that I couldn’t please everyone.

19. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learnt to write for myself and no-one else. That’s usually the first bit of advice, after ‘keep writing’, authors get given. I heard it, but never took it into account. Now I have. Better late than never! When you write for yourself, you care less about sales and more about how far you’ve come with the novel. Writing a novel isn’t easy, so it’s nice to sit down and tell yourself you’ve done well to just write one.

20. Do you have any advice for other writers?
Keep writing because if you want to be an author, you have no other choice. And write for yourself—trust me on that one.

21. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I hope you enjoy GIFTED. I really enjoyed writing it so I can only hope you enjoy reading it!

22. What inspires you?
Opportunities and possibilities.

23. What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
Developing my characters. It’s so strange to say, but the more you write about them, the more real they become.

24. How do you find or make time to write?
It’s really bad, but I tend to push everything else aside because writing is always much more fun than anything else I need to do. I always try to write down an idea that pops into my head before it vanishes and sometimes that’s all I’ll write that day. Other days, I might write over two thousand words. However, I do prioritise, but writing does tend to take up most of my time!


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Summary of Gifted by J. A. George:

There is no chosen one in this story.

She was just in the wrong place at the wrong time and happened to make a decision that altered her future forever. It happens to all of us every day.

Avery Gray is a size twelve university student with a penchant for dry humour, and she’s as normal as they come. Up until now, the biggest choice she’s had to make was glasses or contacts? At the moment, it’s stay and save, or leave and be saved.

Allow me to explain. One rainy afternoon, Avery had to make a choice: go through the alleyway or around it. Two possible options. One would have had her future continue on as planned, the other would ensure that her future never remained the same again. She unknowingly went with the latter.

But change is not always bad. Avery meets Theodore-James Connors, an enigmatic young man who takes her to Hayven, a city separated from the rest of the world, where only gifters – ordinary people with extra-ordinary gifts – can go. She soon finds herself in a close-knit group of friends she’d never have imagined herself in; friends who are diverse in every possible way, from their ethnic backgrounds, to their personalities, from their gifts, to their life stories. Friends who make her laugh, who make her cry, who make her think and who make her…her.

However, change is not always good. The beautiful, golden city of Hayven has its dark side – Cliders. Gifters turned rogue, aka, Cliders are determined to aid fallen Clider, Madrina, return to rule Hayven. They will stop at nothing to make that happen, including harming those Ava has grown to love. Again, Ava is faced with a choice: spend her days finding a way to inhibit Madrina’s return, or walk away. After all, she isn’t the chosen one. Yet, there exists a third option – rig the future itself and make it work for her.


J. A. George’s Links:

Website

Goodreads

Purchase Gifted

Twitter Handle : @JGeorgie_