Thursday, June 30, 2016

Starting Sparks: Glow in the Dark




 So I hope you all want to hear more about Rayne and the weird idea. Because I couldn't think of anything else for this prompt.


writing prompt:



I crouch at the corner of an alleyway. The guards pace in front of the entrance. Okay, quick and fast.

Just as my footsteps alert the first guard, my fist meets his nose. I snatch his gun before he can and shoot the second guard. The first guard also falls to the ground. I duck quickly into the doorway. Sixteen seconds. Not bad, but not my best.

The building has a quiet, cold emptiness. I keep the gun out before me, but it's only a possum gun. You'd think an organization that calls themselves The Powers would arm their guards better.

It seems too quiet. What is going on? Did they already spy me coming? This has to be an ambush. Energy crawls under my skin. To run, to fight, to do something. I walk steady and quiet. Unless someone is hiding in the elevator shaft, there is no one here. Nowhere for anyone to hide for an ambush.

Tech! It's the wrong building, isn't it? Or perhaps the wrong level?

The elevator shaft is empty. It scales up into pitch black. There aren't even cables left for an elevator. Someone would have to climb the walls to ascend or descend. Were the guards a decoy? Where would The Powers take Mikel?

I sigh and frown. But I don't lower the gun. On the floor there's a shadow, or--

What's this? A metal ring. I pull the trap door open. It doesn't even squeak. Which means it's probably been well oiled for the purpose of being silent. Which means I'm in the right place after all.

The stairs are awkward. Nearly vertical. Something smacks my jaw. I shoot at the shape in the dark. It, he is on the opposite side of the railing and slumps to the floor. So the dark side of the stairs isn't  a wall? I feel over the railing and have to stretch far out to finally meet the wall.

Footsteps.

Uh, oh. I swing my legs over the rail and find the floor. I blindfold the guard with his belt. Not particularly effective, but it is dark in here so that should help. He won't be able to speak or move until the stun of the possum gun fades. But it'd be nice if he doesn't get a good enough look at my face. I drag him to the far corner under the stairs.

Voices now accompany the footsteps. I crouch under the staircase as the footfalls thud over my head.

"Fin says he's coming to."

"Do you think he'll sing?"

A harsh laugh. "He will whether he wants to or not. The question is does he have anything worth singing-- I told you to close the hatch!"

"I did close it!"

"Sure, you did. Just like you closed the refrigerator door?"

"Hey, now! That's just--"

I duck out from under the staircase as the footsteps retreat. I just glimpse their shapes disappear at what must be the base of the stairs.

Carefully, I follow the floor down as it slopes. My eyes strain in the darkness, but near the bottom there's another dark form. Has it seen me? As I approach it looks smaller. It moves toward me. I aim my gun.

Wait.

The cat rubs against my leg. The Powers have a resident cat?

Light shines from various nooks and corners where people must be working or living. Stacks and stacks of crates. A light slips under one door along with the smell of garlic and. . . cayenne, I think. A few computer hackers argue about coding. Others are huddled in a small area with maps and papers. A girl in the group hovers over the ground with her legs crossed. A man charges some device with his finger.

I tuck the gun in my jacket and try to keep to the shadows. Keep my head down. Blend in.

There's a fffft sound. My hair and coat flies up as the force zooms past. Papers are left fluttering. Among other protests, someone yells, "Seriously, Antone!?"

Great. A speedster.

As long as there aren't any telepaths around, I'm good.

I pass one door. The light is fainter. It could just be a maintenance closet. But it opens into a huge room. Some guards behind pillars give me a quizzical look. I take one out with the possum gun, then dodge the aim of the second's. I shoot him before he calls to the others.

In the center of the room a light shines. A table. Some very unpleasant looking tools. Jared, a leader within The Powers stands over a chair wherein Mikel is tied up. Sitting down though, Mikel is nearly as tall as Jared standing.

"So, the rebels tried to kill you," Jared says.

"Really?" Mikel's voice is chipper and good-natured as normal. "I couldn't tell."

In the dark, I quietly move from guard to guard. I catch them before they hit the ground so the thud doesn't alert the others. I'm not sure what kind of powers these guys have and if they don't see me coming they don't have a chance to try anything.

"We are very interested in their plans."

"I'm sure. Aren't you, like, mortal enemies?"

"Indeed, but you see," Jared pauses. I knew he was a dramatic, "Now it seems you're on our side."

"Why? Just because I'm not 'of pure blood'?"

Four guards down. 

"You know who we are, and you're one of us now."

"Tech, I just glow in the dark! So what?"

"Well, they tried to kill you for it. We're on the same side now. I thought I would interest you in a bit of revenge?"

"Only if it comes with a side of fries. I'm hungry."

Tech, why did he have to mention food?

"We can protect you from the Rebels."

"Can you feed me?"

"We just want information."

"I don't deal information."

I finally let a seventh guard slip to the ground. How paranoid is Jared? Hopefully, that's the last one though. Jared is only a healer, which is good for me. I don't have to contest against something like super strength or teleportation. But that also means, I can't hurt him.

"You think that 'human,'" Jared says it with disdain, "friend of yours is coming to save you? She's one of them, you know. Rebels, humans. All the same. Powerless."

Jared is only a healer, good and bad. I won't have to contest against anything like super strength or teleportation. But if I try to hurt him, he'll heal immediately.

"You're awful human too, czar," Mikel mutters.

"If she comes, she'd come to betray you, little light bulb."

I sneak around to a pillar behind Jared.

"Light bulb? Even I could do better than that."

I count to three.

"I bet she's at the door right now."

Mikel smiles at him. "I know she is."

I run out, leap onto Jared, and throw my arm around his throat in a choker hold. One. Two. . . in five seconds he goes limp. I lower him to the floor. We have about ten seconds before he revives.

"You ding-a-ling!" I untie Mikel's hands. "How many times do I have to save you?"

"Well, good day to you too."

"What were you thinking, telling him your power? They would've killed you if you weren't useful."

"They would've killed me anyways." Mikel shakes the ropes loose.

"Yeah, but you could have dragged it out longer."

"You could've come sooner." Mikel stands. "I'm hungry."

"Don't even start." I search Jared. A real gun. A knife.

The door bursts open. The air smells odd now. One of them must be able to generate smoke or poison.

"What I wouldn't give for some fries." I toss Mikel the knife.

"I have a coupon for Gwen's."

"Well, why didn't you list that among our assets?"

"This is why we're friends."

"Because we storm castles together?"

Jared stirs. 

"Precisely. Shall we?" He gestures to a latch in the ceiling.

"And here I thought we'd have to fight our way out."

He boosts me up to open the trap door. "Nah. How about Gwen's instead?"

"Sure. You pay."

"What?!"

"I've saved your life twice in three days. Get me fries and we'll call it even." I pull him to the trap door edge. A faint white light halos the whole of him in the darkness. "You should do something about that."

"It's not my fault I glow in the dark, okay?" 

_________________________________


Say 'hi' to Mikel.


Mikel or whatever the poor guy's name ends up as:


Now I want some curly fries. . .

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Beautiful People: Oddball's Childhood

Thank you so much Cait @ Paper Fury and Skye @ Further Up and Further In for hosting Beautiful People!

Oddball refuse to answer these. *glares at him* It seems he'd rather run the risk of me answering for him. So here we go.




1. What are their first childhood memories?

His mom singing. His father throwing him in the air.

2. What were their best and worst childhood experiences?

After 'they' burned his family's house and his dad, Cat, recovered from a gunshot wound from 'them,' his family lived in the huge sludge trees and survived on whatever they could find. But his dad still told jokes and his mom, crazy though she was, still sang songs. His family was still his family and they were still together. Nothing had really changed. Even though everything had gone wrong, 'they' couldn't do anything to him or his family. The best experience was the strange invincibility that comes with loving and being loved.

The worst experience was when 'they' did kill his family. Strange thing though, the invincibility of love remains.


it's little Oddball!:

3. What was their childhood home like?

Small. Cozy. Singing in the air. Drawings and pencils on the floor.

4. What's something that scared them as a child?

Being eaten by prackles. Losing his parents. Never belonging. The dark. Being caught by 'them.'

5. Who did they look up to most?

Dad

6. Favorite and least favorite childhood foods?

His mom, Sera, made a good tree mussel stew.

The least favorite is of course swamp spinach. Esin would make him eat it because, "It's good for you. It'll make you run faster." Oddball never bought that.

7. If they had their childhood again, would they change anything?

He couldn't change anything despite wanting to. So no, he doesn't want it back. He just wants his parents back and that's not going to happen either. So there's no use, is there?

8. What kind of child were they? Curious? Wild? Quiet? Devious?

Mature. His mom had leftligger, so she wasn't all there. He had to look after her when his dad was away finding food or work. Sera wasn't bedridden or incapable. She could cook and clean, and she did have moments of clarity. But her mind was like a child's, an easily frightened two year old who couldn't comprehend everything.  So I would say Oddball was mature.

He was curious also. Esin Trik, his father's only friend, would bring him books from a big city library Esin traveled to from time to time.  Oddball loved learning about different kingdoms and cultures. When he lived with Esin later, Esin taught him many things like mapmaking and science. Oddball would sit around in trees reading books. (So yeah, he was a homeschooler.)

9. What was their relationship to their parents and siblings like?

For a time he was angry with his mom for being unable to be his mom, but his anger didn't last too long. He knew it wasn't her fault. He just loves her and wishes he knew her before she became sick. His dad and Esin always said she was amazing.

His dad is like his hero. Oddball could be a kid around Dad. Also, Dad would take him seriously. He never opened up to anyone the way he would to Dad.

10. What did they want to be when they grew up and what did they actually become?

An explorer (all those books got to his head ;). And safe. The former happens, but the latter? Probably never.

I've realized while writing Oddball the Sequel, that Oddball is the only one in the Foursome who actually has good childhood memories. Rocky never knew his parents and his brother betrayed him. Both Peril and Skyler have been sorely affected by their parents' influence. The thing that sets Oddball apart is that he had a real family who taught him what family and love is. He doesn't have a mentor figure. He truly treasures the memories of his parents (sometimes he kind of idealizes them). I think that's why he didn't want to talk about it. For him, talking about it is like giving it away. 

I actually wrote five or seven versions of this BP with different characters. Peril, Skyler, Rayne, Eelistelle, etc. Maybe I'll post others later if you're interested.

Apologies for Oddball's absence on this one. Perhaps I can persuade him to come around some other time. Hope you liked this! 

Have you done a Beautiful People post?


Monday, June 20, 2016

What Success Looks Like // do what you want

You know those people who seem to have it all together all of the time? The ones who know exactly where they are going and every step they need to get there?

Yeah, I'm not one of those people either.

It's kind of weird though because even if I don't know what I ought to do with my life, other people think they know. Apparently, their lives are so good, they've taken up planning other people's? Since they know the secrets to the universe, let's what they have to say:

I ought to be a school teacher.
(Ah haha. No. If only 'the system' was an entity I could strangle.)

I ought to find my true love and live happily ever after.
(Seriously? Do I look like a Disney Princess?)

I ought to stay home, wait for my true love to find me, then live happily ever after in my family's backyard.
(Rapunzel much?)

Some people sincerely believe they know your success ought to look like. They look you in the eye and say such and such is you're calling. 


.


While they predicting your supposed future, you gape at them and think, "Do I know you? Because you obviously don't know me."

It's a little frustrating. It's easy to let other people define our success for us. Marriage. A stable/steady job. A permanent house. Etc. Etc. It sounds safe. Realistic. Highly probable. Smart. And if anything, they do seem to know what they're talking. Who doesn't want stability? Who doesn't want job security?

So here are the problems:

1)  Life is unpredictable. Stability is an illusion.

You'll go places you never thought of, do things you never dreamed of, if you keep yourself open to it. People seem to think they have to do one thing with their life, for their whole lives. That is their idea of success (which is fine).

One of my favorite examples of a full life is my clogging instructor. She was in a rock band, acted in film and theater, videoed for film and theater, taught music at a school, wrote books and songs, and of course taught clogging. She also moved from New Zealand to the US. She did a lot of things in different areas throughout her lifetime.

So don't feel like you have to box yourself in to doing one thing your whole life. If that's what you want to do, excellent. But don't believe the common lie that it's the only way to live. One day life might throw you a curve ball and you'll find yourself somewhere very different than you would've thought when you were twelve. 


 :


2) Success looks different for everyone.

As mentioned before, some people view job security as success. For some people, it's driving a mobile library around the countryside. Some don't even view success as a career decision, maybe it's volunteering, maybe it's raising a family, owning their own private library, etc and so forth.

You define your success. Find out what you want to do. You can give other people's thoughts consideration, but ultimately it's up to you. After all, you're the one who must take the steps necessary to live it out

And don't let others' opinions hold you back. It's really easy to do that. Shooting for the stars is much more risky and precarious than staying down on earth.


(Guys! That's my photo! And my edit. Let me grin and stare. . . Okay, carry on.)

Writing, my friends, is not exactly the most stable job. Some will think you're famous and rich, or going to be. Others think you'll be taking orders at the local McDonald' by next month.

So here's the thing. I talk about how I do what I want. That's because last year I realized I was letting people's opinions limit me. A lot of people don't think I can do things on my own. When people are with me, I'll let them do all the talking. I let them lead. I let them make the decisions, and if they make stupid decisions I don't follow them and wait around until they figure out what a dumb idea they had.

But people don't see me when I'm alone (obviously). They don't realize that I am braver alone. They don't see me go out alone. Talk to people alone. Drive long distances alone. Talk on the phone. Make my own decisions, yeah, even stupid ones.


Alice in Wonderland
 

The only limits you and I have are the limits we put on ourselves. The box we make ourselves fit into. If it wasn't for that, the world would be open to us.

So, yes, I talk about how I do what I want. It's half joking sass, half Loki reference, and all reminding myself not to let other people's opinions drag me down.

Not that I'm saying you should blow off advice. Seriously, consider advice from the right people. Advice is good. Give it a think. Basically, you have to know you.

You have to define your success. Not somebody else. Go out and make life your own. It's hard and it's scary, even if you are going for that stability that everyone wants. It's still scary. But YOU GOT THIS!


 .:


 From my Christian stand point, (glad to hear you wanted to hear that), God has this. God defines me. He knows my past, my present, and my future. He is the only one with adequate knowledge to define me. As long as I go where He's leading me, I will be in a stable place. Life is turbulent, but God is my stability. He is the rock I stand on. His opinion is the only one that matters and it's the only opinion that will be true.


 So here's what my 'success' looks like.


 XD


1)  I want to be a freelance editor specifically geared toward indie authors. That might sound weird, and I can and probably will edit for people who are not looking to be independent authors. That's cool. But indie authors need editors. Indie authors are out there going it alone. Their stories are good, yet they need editing help. (They also need to either realize they need editing help or be motivated to spend money on editing help, but post for another day). 

I want to be that editing help. I love editing and helping other people with their stories. I always see so much potential like a hidden diamond. I love helping people dig it up, polish it, and set it so it shines for everyone to see. I enjoy it almost as much as I do writing my own work.


for the Success and Writing post You've Got Mail:


2) I want to be an indie author. Yes, it does scare me. I'm not a business person. I have no idea how to market. Anything that has to do with finances, paperwork, and tedious administrative work bores me to death.

But being independently published got stuck in my head a couple years back. Learning how to do it myself. Collaborating with awesome designers for cover art. Having an editor look at my work for mistakes and suggestions (yes, I need someone else's professional help too; I'm not an idiot). I've envisioned it for so long I can't see myself doing it differently. The indie book industry has a bad rep for poorly written books. I want to change that both with my own writing and with helping others authors. I want to provide excellent books and give indie authors a good name.

 success and writing  'You've Got Mail'.:

Also, independently publishing will be more satisfying for me personally. I'll be more pleased with myself if I can be heavily involved in the creation of my novel.

True, I know I will probably need to get part time jobs and such, here and there. I'm not a Disney princess, remember? I'm realistic about this.


The Mentalist



In conclusion, I have no conclusion. So here's a Loki and Thor from pinterest, because you know. . . *smirks*


loki and thor playing video games:



What does YOUR success look like? What do you want to do? Do you have any strange stories of what people expect you to do with your future?

Friday, June 10, 2016

my inner grammar geek is an awkward metaphor for the English language // The Text Tag

Thank you Rose @ It's Looking a Bit Mitty and Liz @ Out of Coffee, Out of Mind for tagging me for The Text Tag. I really like this one. It's not your ordinary tag. Not to mention, it wins at alliteration. If your interested in the rules *yawns* follow the links to Rose's or Liz' blog.

1. What is your favorite letter of the alphabet?


A. Not because my name begins with a. I have a story.

I was home-educate and I actually remember when my mom first taught me how to read. She held up the 'a' flash card and told me to repeat 'a' and all of the 82,390 sounds that 'a' makes.

And after 'a' we have 'b'. A simple consonant owning only one sound. Why does our alphabet have to start with one of the hardest letters we have? Why don't we work our way up to the harder ones?

The English language. Who made up this stuff? Were they thinking or did they just slap our alphabet together? I read Beowulf when I was 19. I remember thinking, "This was modern English's predecessor? No wonder we're so messed up." In truth, I adore that book. Beowulf is the best. But the history of the English language, man, it's a gloriously beautiful mess. It's amazing people can articulate with it.

So 'a' is my favorite because it reminds me that despite what a grammar geek I can be our language is rather absurd. Also, life doesn't always have to make sense. (I do need to be reminded of that occasionally.)

2. Three [inserts Four] words that you like?

Odd

Ludicrous

Clever

Dragon 

3. Three words you dislike?

swoon

swooned

has swooned

Oh, was that last one a verb phrase. Pardon me. 

4. If you were to create a word, what would it be and what would it describe?

Um, I'm a fantasy writer, soooo. . . I make up words all the time. More often I make up names. Who wants another name story that is slightly relevant to topic?

So there's this group of elite villains in Oddball the Sequel. One of them is this silent, intimidating guy who's the muscle of the group. Of course, he MUST have a preposterous name. Everyone's terrified of this guy. Even his team members get edgy around him because he never says anything and he could snap your neck in two seconds.

So I named him Pickle.


awkward smile


Which, in retrospect, sounds like a cat name? (My best friend does have a cat named Pickles now that I think of. . .)

So it's perfect!

Ahem. So I didn't actually make up the word "pickle." But I turned it into a name so that counts?


5. Three [inserts Four] favorite punctuation marks?

Quotation marks. I love dialogue. What is a book without conversations?

The ampersand is suave & classy.

Parenthesis. I love witty parenthetical elements. 

The semicolon. I was once told that semicolons are going extinct. We should just start a new sentence instead. But I will always stand by semicolons. A well placed semicolon is thing to be cherished. The author of such a semicolon is to be revered for her/his tactful and meticulous use of punctuation.

6. Three favorite fonts?

I don't think I have three? Whenever I experiment with other fonts, I always fall back to Times New Roman.

7. Do you love writing?

I can't stand writing. Gosh. Why am I even here blogging? Writing bores me to sleep!

Translation:

Why is this a question?

8. What/ who inspired you to start blogging?

Uh, I don't know? I used to be a part of this blog called the Teen Writers Group. (We called ourselves TWiG and Twigians.We were so cute.) We would post our writing and critique each other.

After exiting my teen years, I decided it might be good if I had my own blog? I had no idea what I was doing. But let's face it, I still don't.


 andrew-garfield-spiderman-cute-funny.gif (450×253)


9. If you could change the way one word sounded it, what word would it be and how would it sound?

I'm just going with Liz' answer because it needs to be a thing. 

"Woman" ought to be pronounced as "majestic warrior queen."

10. Do you know of a word that looks better than it sounds? 

plaid   amnesia   left   aesthetic

It's amazing I even know how to spell these. Oh, and

choir

I always want to swap the 'i' and 'o', because when saying it the 'or' comes at the end. I'm telling you, the English language; it's a funny one. Or I'm just poor at spelling. 

Yeah, that's probably it.

11. What are three [inserts Seven *obvious rebel*] words you mispronounced when you first said them aloud because you only ever read them?

Introduction
At age twelve, I read this aloud to my mom and pronounced like I would "introduce." My mom couldn't believe I had pronounced the "duc" like "duce." But it was because I was thinking of the root word!

Tobias
A fellow book dragon gave me this weird look while we were talking about Divergent.

Allegiant
How even?

Erudite
Maybe it's my tendency to shorten words. . .

Aesthetic
I don't try anymore.

Achilles
My eyes see 'Achilles' and my brain sneezes.

Cello
I can never remember if the 'c' makes a 'k' sound, an 's' sound, or a 'ch' sound. I once used reverse psychology: "No, Ashley. It's said the way you don't think it's supposed to be said." But I've reversed my thinking so often, I don't know anymore.

I brought flowers


12. What are three words you used incorrectly in your youth (whether that is last week or eighty years ago, up to you)?

Half the time I talk, I mispronounce words, use the wrong verb tense, or mix my sentence structure to such failure there is no structure. Verbal communication is my weakest point. 

It's worse if I'm passionate about the topic. Kind of like Mr. Knightley ("if I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more"), I can't speak intelligently on things I like and enjoy. I can write pages and pages but when I open my mouth what comes out is, "I really super love that, that THING!" 


andrew garfield. amazing spiderman. (gif)


It's worse when I'm angry. I don't talk about things I love or things that make me angry. My delivery is so awful that nobody takes me seriously when I try.

Also, I'm always afraid of misusing 'aesthetic.' I like it. Recently it's been thrown around and most people are using the wrong form of it. But I'm not entirely sure myself. Is it an adjective? A noun? Is it both? Or is it just a thing nowadays to use it as both interchangeable? 

In book writing, I use nouns and adjectives as adverbs. You see, you're not supposed to use adverbs, especially the -ly ones. So I keep the word but drop the -ly. Then we end up with an adjective attempting to modify a verb or adverb, which, my friends, is grammatically illegal

Don't tell. 

But if we're being fair, "adjective" is a noun



 The Amazing Spiderman 2 (chimney sceene) - whaaaaaat?


Take that English language.

I'm not going to add anymore questions as the tag is getting rather long. Nor am I going to tag anyone. But if you want to obsess over grammar and letters, by all means, pick up the tag! I would love to read your post!

Also, I've been considering who I ought to do a Beautiful People post on. I have no clue. Any ideas? Do you want to hear about a particular character?

What is your favorite letter? What are your top three favorite words and what words always cause some kind of trouble for you?

Sunday, June 5, 2016

2016 Review Train: Rebel of the Sands




 Isn't this one of the coolest blog buttons?! Brittany made it for the 2016 review train and each of the books being reviewed is a train car! By of way, yesterday Alicia @ A Kernel of Nonsense reviewed The Distance Between Us by Kassie West. Go check out her post!

 Today I'm reviewing Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton. It's very likely one of my favorites this year. It's a fun read, packed with action. You can't help but read it fast.

my mini blurb:

Amani will do anything to escape her dead end town Dustwalk. Anything to keep from being wed or dead. Posing as a sharpshooter boy seems to be her only chance out, but is it?





It's fantasy with a Middle Eastern culture mixed with a Western setting (think guns, desert, and train heists Western). It sounds like an odd mix, but it works. I don't think I've ever read a "real" Western, nor do I often read books with Middle Eastern culture. This was a refreshing change and I loved every minute of it.

Amani lives in a culture where being a woman is a shame. But she's always been one to go against the grain and make her own way. She has strong determination and she doesn't let anybody get her down. Although she does make some very bad decisions and sometimes she's selfish. So she has her flaws; she's human.

Character development for the win!

Also, she has a smart mouth. She grew up being beat for her attitude and yet she still has a steadfast sass. I loved it! Smart mouth characters are always my favorites. 

To be honest, at the beginning of the book I was a little put out. I liked it, the different setting and the culture, the sand and the GUNS! Did I mention there were guns? Loved the guns! But I felt like I was reading any other girl-goes-independent YA book, just with a different flair. I liked, but didn't love, the book (although the guns, man, the guns). I thought, "This is good, but not outstanding."

And then

The plot twist!

Haha! I loved it! It surprised me. Recently, in the books I've read I've seen half the "plot twists" coming. Not this book. This one threw sand in my eyes and ran away laughing.

I do have one qualm though, and it's not with the book itself. It's YA in general. The love interest. Why is it that you can always spot the love interest from a mile away? With a huge arrow floating above him/her and fireworks in the background. Love interests rarely sneak up on us. The moment we see them we all know, "Here's the really hot person our MC will kiss on the last page."


.


I just like to be surprised. That's all I ask.

Also, there was that other "plot twist." It's one of those twists that you're not sure if it actually categorizes as a plot twist because everyone knows it except for the MC. We're all just waiting around for her to catch on.

That aside.

I loved how everything had a subtle foreshadowing and then it all comes together. Everything intertwined. All the coincidences mentioned in passing actually become something meaningful by the end of the book. Which I think is how it ought to be. An event might seem distant and unrelated to one person, when it is close to someone else and really hits home.

Even though the love interest first shows up in all his cliched glory, after time I really liked him. Other people wouldn't give Amani the time of day because she was a girl. The love interest though treated her like she was capable of taking care of herself and capable of helping others, which she was. Meaning they made the best team. I love couples who work together. I appreciate that trust in each others' abilities and the not-smothering-each-other-with-concern. They were an unstoppable duo! And that's how it should be.

Also, Amani actually gets to form friendships outside of her love life. Wow, who'd ever think that was possible? Or realistic. A love life and friends could be unhealthy, Amani. Don't get too crazy.
The other characters were a great cast. I loved them all! The banter. The personalities. I don't think I could pick a favorite. There was an emphasis on friends and siblings. Especially siblings. It wrestled with the questions like, "What if your sibling is a dastardly villain? Would you kill him/her to save the world?" Because this is relevant to everyone. 


Loki & Thor (GIF)


The author balanced all of the relationships in the book superbly. It was done well even to the very end. Usually, a story emphasizes the romantic relationship most since the last sentences depict the couple kissing or holding hands, walking off into the sunset--  have a good life! This book didn't end that way. I appreciate the redirected emphasis. It took a broader outlook which was very fitting.

So by the end, I was grinning like an idiot.

Translation: Go read the book!


 


Don't forget to stop by Sinead's blog Less Reality, More Books for the next stop on the review train! Thank you so much Brittany @ Space Between the Spines for host!

Have you read Rebel of the Sands?

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Starting Sparks June Edition // the shelf life of a french fry

Hello, hello! A new month is upon us in all its summer heat. Heat is how we do summer in Texas. In truth, heat is how we do most seasons. . .

I'll stop talking about weather, promises. Instead why not have a new SS prompt?! Starting Sparks is a writing prompt link up co-hosted by Emily @ Ink, Inc. and me @ I'd think you know where. If you need anymore details, there's this nifty Starting Sparks page. (Why do I never hear people use 'nifty' anymore? It was the in word when I was a church youth.)

 Oh, and don't forget to check out everyone's posts from last week's prompt! There was some very creative stuff going on.

Now that I think of it, I forgot to sign my own link last month. #awkward

*cough* Moving forward.


Here's the button.





Here's your prompt.


writing prompt:


Write like a fiend!

Hit the brakes! If you don't know the reference in the today's title, here's a quick video. Laugh lots, okay?




Now write like a fiend!