Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Name That Novel #3

Name the novel and the author.

"'Our Lady is not some magical being out there somewhere, like a fairy godmother. She's not the statue in the parlor. She's something inside of you. Do you understand what I'm telling you?' 'Our Lady is inside me,' I repeated, not sure I did."

Okay, I'm going to add another passage that might be more telling, give it a few days, and if there are no takers, I'll give up the answer :-) So, here goes...

"At night I would lie in bed and watch the show, how bees squeezed through the cracks of my bedroom wall and flew circles around the room, making that propeller sound, a high pitched zzzzzz that hummed along my skin....The way those bees flew, not even looking for a flower, just flying for the feel of the wind, split my heart down its seam."

I guess I will have to reveal the answer: The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd -- which of course was made into a movie, currently out on dvd.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Name that Novel #2

Sorry, I am a day late with this, but here goes. Name the novel and the author:

"When I pursued this resolution about ten days longer, as I have said, I began to see that the land was inhabited; and in two or three places, as we sailed by, we saw people stand upon the shore to look at us; we could also perceive they were quite black and naked."

Good luck.

Congratulations to Liz who guessed correctly: Robinson Crusoe by Defoe.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Contests and Such

Well, I guess I'm going to self-indulge for a moment and write a few words (or a lot more, as I seldom write just a few!) about my latest project - a mystery novel, Whips, Cuffs, and Little Brown Boxes. Quite by accident I stumbled upon a contest given by Amazon and Penguin Books. They first started this project a few years ago. In any case, I felt it wouldn't hurt to give my work a bit of exposure. So, I entered the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award 2009 Contest. Besides, it was free. And I'm all about saving a dollar. The number of entrants could be no more than 10,000. I don't know if that's what they came up with, but authors had only a small window of time to get their work entered -- one week -- and then the doors closed so to speak. The first cut would be dwindled down to 2,000. This was based on the pitch. I made it over that hurdle. Then, those 2,000 had their excerpts read by reviewers who would write comments and rate the excerpts. These scores would then reduce the numbers down to 500. Well, I didn't make it to that next level, but I did get a couple of encouraging reviews. At least encouraging enough to make me trudge onward in the pursuit of getting it published :-) So, for those who are interested in reading what they had to say, and to comment if you wish, here they are:

Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Reviews

ABNA Expert Reviewer #1:

Wonderful title and suspenseful opening. Nice transition between childhood hide-and-seek games into the present action. Original twist: a mystery writer who does her own research, literally, even when telling herself that she won't get involved. Excellent way to show mom's priorities: her sister's missing and she's concentrating on Lilly's single status. I like that the protagonist isn't a flawless super-hero type but someone who has real emotions.

Hilarious in places, the humor keeps the action moving right along and makes the reader want to know what will happen next.

ABNA Expert Reviewer #2:

The excerpt certainly starts with a bang and catches the reader's attention. The beginning paragraphs of the flashback though are a little drawn out and might be tempting to skim over.

However, the novel seems to gather steam again and, by the time dialogue between the protagonist and her mother is introduced, the dialogue is, for the most part, smooth and informative without being too obvious.

The Paranormal ability does make one curious and the humorous tone promises to be entertaining. However, none of this promises great literature or a deep examination of the human condition.

I'm guessing that this is a romance novel with an erotic hint to it and the scene is set by the time the excerpt ends - The heroine is a feisty, paranormally gifted, single female with a love interest and a mystery to solve. It seems to predict a novel which will provide an entertaining afternoon of reading even if it won't reveal any earth shattering truths.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Name that Novel #1

I'm going to try something new and what I hope will be fun. Each week, I will post a quote from some classic or contemporary work and then hopefully you will guess where it belongs -- title and author. And good luck! So here's the first week's quote, and I'll start with one that's rather easy, I think:

"Either the well was very deep, or she fell very slowly, for she had plenty of time as she went down to look about her and to wonder what was going to happen next."

Congrats to Ares for coming up with Alice in Wonderland. But I also asked for the author....anyone care to respond? And thank you, Ares. As well as to Laughing Idiot who was right on Ares' coat tails with the title answer :-)

Congratulations once again... Ares answered Lewis Carroll. :-) Come back and visit next week for another quote to name that novel!