Monday, July 14, 2014

Review: THE FIRE WISH (The Jinni Wars, #1) by Amber Lough

 I’ve been dying to read THE FIRE WISH and I was lucky enough to receive an advanced reader copy thanks to NetGalley and Random House Children’s.  If you preorder now, you won’t have long to wait. It officially comes out on July 22.

THE FIRE WISH is told from the point of view of two teenage girls. One girl is a jinni, who's training to be a spy in the war against humans. The other is a human girl on her way to marry a prince of Baghdad. When one girl makes a wish, they end up switching bodies—that puts them in the middle of each other’s romances and danger-filled worlds.  But the story is a lot more complicated than that and, as the plot deepens, the reader learns just how entwined their lives and worlds are.

I enjoyed the plot and the characters (particularly the way each of the girl’s attitude toward the new world they’re dropped into is shown and changes). Above all else, I loved the lush world building. It was amazing how Lough managed to make both the human and jinn worlds and the history they share feel real and still keep the writing accessible to a young audience. This is not a story to dash through. It has tons of details to be absorbed and enjoyed.  It would be a great entry-level epic fantasy for upper middle grade or young adult readers.

If you want to learn more about THE FIRE WISH and why Amber Lough was uniquely qualified to write this story, check out Lough websiteHERE

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Writing Process Blog Tour

I was tagged in the Writing Process Blog Tour by one of my writing buddies, Mary Ann Scott.  Mary Ann mostly writes romantic ghost stories and horror. Her current project, a contemporary coming-of-age/ghost story, won a 2013 SCBWI Work-in-Progress grant. Learn more about it Here 

On to me . . .

What are you currently working on?

I’m going to do this the easy way.  Here’s the pitch I have taped over my desk:

My WIP is a contemporary YA mystery set in Lakeside, Vermont. When her older sister offers seventeen-year-old Tori a summer job restoring a bizarre historic inn, she accepts. But her motive isn’t to make money or to bond like her estranged sister hopes. Tori’s discovered her entire family’s kept a secret from her. Eighteen years ago, her mother had an affair while summer in Lakeside and became pregnant. Tori’s determined to uncover who her biological father is, but, in a small town where love is cursed and silence is a commodity, even searching for the truth can be deadly.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

The heart of this story is a modern gothic novel. But the characters are definitely not the expected cast. I mean, there are some very left of center teens and adults in it, like a girl who uses lawn ornaments to tell fortunes and a father who’s an insect hoarder.  But these characters and others aren’t there for comedic reasons. It’s more about the pain and struggle that connects them to each other and to the underlying mystery that the main character is trying to solve.

Why do I write what I write?

I write about adventures, places and people I’d to be involved with. And, about psychological issues that fascinate me. Sometimes I really wonder about this one, since my stories tend to go to some pretty dark places.

How does my Individual writing process work?

My stories start with some kind of idea or seed (this story was inspired by a Jamie Wyeth painting I saw at the Shelburne Museum Want to see it? )

From there I let the story brew in my head for a long time, usually months. When I feel driven to start writing, I create character sketches, start jotting down scenes and make a barebones turning point outline. Then I start fleshing out the story by writing scenes on index cards. I’m a slow first drafter—my current project has been painfully slow and interrupted by ongoing revisions of a previous project.  As the draft progresses, my outlining becomes more detailed and is followed by many rounds of revision.

Now it's time to tag a few friends.

Debbie Causevic  and I are both clients of the amazing Pooja Menon of the Kimberley Cameron and Associates Literary Agency.   Debbie writes historical and contemporary YA, as well as woman’s fiction. Learn more about it hereFollow her on Twitter -- @DCausevic

 Cassandra Griffin is also a client of Pooja Menon.  She's a geek at heart, enjoying anything from Star Trek expos to comic conventions. This particular love plays an active part in her latest project, a YA contemporary. Learn more about it here . Follow her on Twitter -- @chgriffinauthor

Also I’m going to tag any of my readers who’d like to play. Seriously, I'd love to read your posts. Just mention in the comment section that you’d like to join and I’ll link to your post.
Yay! Kathy Quimby is joining the tour. Kathy is a fellow Vermont writer, a recent graduate of VCFA and the co-regional advisor for the New England Chapter of SCBWI. I'm dying to read about her current project and her writing process. Check it out Here and follow her on Twitter--@ktquimby