Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Wallflower Has Moved!

So ya'll remember last week when I said I wanted to take a break from blogging; well, I took my break, and I didn't like it. Ya'll are my family, and my blog is my home.

Given that, The Wallflower has a new home! Click here or go to raeoestreich.com to see the new abode, and let me know what you think of the new digs!

And, as always, thanks so much for everyone's support!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Tea Time: Golden

**Warning: Spoilers May Abound**

 Golden, Melinda Michaels

High school senior Hanna Loch just suffered a blackout in front of her entire homeroom class. She hasn’t had one in over ten years, and she’s terrified—the last time she blacked out, she woke up with no memory of her life before. To make matters worse, no one can explain why it happens. For Hanna, bad things tend to come in threes.

And that doesn’t even begin to cover it . . .

When she learns she could be a descendant of someone who lived once upon a time, Hanna must put her trust in William Vann, a descendant of one of the most hated villains ever known. Their histories are intertwined in more ways than she expected, and he has answers about her past, answers even her family won’t share.

But is it safe to put her trust in someone who appears to be danger reincarnate, while trying to escape the darkness that tried to kill her ten years ago?

A loose fairytale retelling, GOLDEN is a story that’s just right, weaving together lost secrets, vengeful enemies, and what happens when fiction becomes reality.

Narrative-GOLDEN is told from the first-person POV of Hanna Loch, a girl smart enough to know when something's amiss in her small town (like the fact that everybody seems to be secreting some knowledge about her life that even she doesn't know about). Her voice is very simplistic, and very analytic: she's unafraid of pointing out the obvious, which made her voice strong and easy to relate to: even if she didn't say anything to others about her suspicions, she tucked them away for use later.

Now, there were a few chapters that switched POV from Hanna's, to William's. Personally, I didn't like it. It was too inconsistent, and everything that I learned from William's point of view was something that could have been learned through Hanna's very easily. With his knowledge, however, of the world that Hanna knew nothing about, I honestly wished there was more from his perspective (I know, I know, I'm contradicting myself): if there was a better balance of perspectives from the very beginning, Williams' POV could have had the potential to set up a lot of tension and suspense.

Plot-Admittedly, the plot through me for a loop; I was convinced there would be a lot more fairytale folklore than there actually was.

However, I'm not letting that get in the way of everything else I thought about it:

Hanna's got massive memory loss (she can't remember anything before she was eight years old), and by the time the novel starts she's suffered two blackouts with no clue why she gets them. Coinciding with that weirdness is the arrival of one William Vann, whose family is somewhat less than highly though of, since their name is basically synonymous a few murders that happened about ten years prior.

While Hanna's trying to trace her family history back to ancestors who may or may not have been the inspiration to modern-day fairy tales, she also stumbles upon a few answers to her own past as well as a not-so-subtle attraction for Vann (and the romance was pulled off perfectly and rather adorably). And as her family continues acting obviously strange and she starts getting hunted by some strangers who come to town (who may or may not have something to do with her missing memories), things start really heating up (literally: the school gets set on fire).

The pacing in the beginning was rather slow; slightly too slow for my personal tastes. There was also a point where I was a bit tired of the wink, wink, nudge, nudge hints that came popping around, when it was obvious that certain characters knew things and I wanted Hanna to just stop being nice and demand answers. So, in the respects of there being too much tug-and-pull between the characters and not enough action in the plot, that's why I'm ultimately taking a star out of my rating. I simply felt like there was room for more.

But if you absolutely adore mysteries (especially the kinds that involve kidnappings), like I do, then GOLDEN is definitely worth picking up; there's so much world in there; not world-building, just world. I'm excited to see what Michaels comes up with next and how far she's able to expand the ties to fairy tales while keeping up with the magical realism flair.

Characters-I've already pointed out Hanna's inquisitive and demanding search for answers; once the weirdness in her life started popping up more than unusual, she was determined to chase down her family's secrets. She was suspicious in all the right places, and what I loved most of all was the way she reacted to the thrills of things. She's reckless, but in ways that I can relate to: she's a safe person, but when the chance comes to feel a little something extra in life, she takes it, and I felt it was a great flaw to keep poking at without it being overdone.

William, as her bad-boy male protagonist, was also really extremely interesting, due to his interest in good vs. evil and the fact that Hanna had a little bad in her, therefore maybe he has good in him. He tempts fate for the whole book (if the legend about how their repeating story lines is to be believed), but he never came across as creepy or overly intense.

So, basically, both of the main characters were pretty well developed, in my opinion.

Final Answer:  3.66 / 5

Interested in reading GOLDEN, yourself? You're in luck: there's a Rafflecopter giveaway happening right now!

Meet the Author:

Melinda Michaels is the author of Golden and currently lives in Milford, Pennsylvania. A self-proclaimed historian with a rare sense of humor, Melinda finds an immense amount of joy in knowing useless facts, exploring historical places and drinking copious amounts of coffee. When she’s not writing she can be found researching obscured time periods for her own amusement or refurbishing old furniture.

Melinda loves Philadelphia and visits often to enjoy the city with her husband Andrew. Together they have three rambunctious pets. Archie the Beagle, Winston the Boston Terrier and Beatrice the cat.
Golden is the first in a Young Adult magic realism series. 

Facebook * Twitter * Website.  

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On this blog stop, blogger @Rae_Slater reviews #Golden @MJMichaelsBooks, a thrilling mystery with a fairy tale twist (Click to Tweet)

Monday, April 13, 2015

Wallflower PSA: When in Doubt, Take a Break

I have a confession to make: I am a chronic self-doubter (is there a technical name for that?).

Now, most of the time it's an easy bug to squash: I simply tell my inner voice to shut up and let me continue on with my life. It's still there, sure, but I can drown it out with my music or the loud thoughts I have that pertain to my writing. Problem solved.

Then there's times like the last few weeks, where it's louder than everything else, and where I can barely function, let alone get a few solid blog posts out a week without it becoming completely debilitating. So here's what's up:

Lately, I've been scrambling for blog posts, and I'm pretty sure the reason is because I can find nothing to talk about that ya'll don't already know, or that could be of use to anybody who reads this. I feel like I have nothing to offer you, and the last thing I want is to make reading this blog a waste of time.

Why am I saying this? Not for pity or anything; it's simply the truth. There are far more experienced people out there who have far more useful blogs than my own, and I am totally okay with that. What I'm not okay with is the fact that I personally feel like I don't know enough about writing (indeed, I've been struggling with my own WIP for some time, now) to be able to give ya'll advice or to talk about writing.

And I want to know more.

What does this mean for The Wallflower?

For the next few weeks, simply expect fewer posts from me. I want to focus on the last few weeks of my spring semester at school, read like my life depends on it, and I want to try to make some headway in my writing without the stress of figuring out what's next on the blog. In the meantime, I'll be brainstorming like my life depends on it to figure out what's next for the blog and everything else.

I hope ya'll understand. Because, honestly, I feel like I'm flaking out. I don't like disappointing people, but I feel like I'm disappointing myself in not giving myself a break to figure out what I want in the next phase of that giant void called life. What do I have to offer ya'll right now? I have no clue.

But if ya'll will hang in there with me, I'm willing to figure it out.

I'm still going to be all over the Twitter-sphere, since I'm pretty much addicted (which means I'd love conversation). I'm still going to post a few book reviews (some I've had scheduled for blog tours, and others just to keep myself accountable to my TBR list while school winds down). If by some miracle I find something I really want to talk about in the world of writing, then I'll write something up.

I just don't think I'll be keeping to the four-day-a-week posting that I've had.

Until then, there's lots of other great blogs on writing that I encourage ya'll to check out: Writability, She's Novel, Better Novel Project, and Briana Mae Morgan. There's so many more out there, too.

I'll keep ya'll updated on my apparent identity crisis. Until then, I hope ya'll know that the last year of my blogging life has been an amazing one, and that I'm so amazingly grateful for all the great people I've met and who've encouraged and inspired me in ways they might not even know.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Tea Time: My Heart and Other Black Holes

**Warning: Spoilers May Abound**

My Heart and Other Black Holes, Jasmine Warga

Sixteen-year-old physics nerd Aysel is obsessed with plotting her own death. With a mother who can barely look at her without wincing, classmates who whisper behind her back, and a father whose violent crime rocked her small town, Aysel is ready to turn her potential energy into nothingness.

There’s only one problem: she’s not sure she has the courage to do it alone. But once she discovers a website with a section called Suicide Partners, Aysel’s convinced she’s found her solution: a teen boy with the username FrozenRobot (aka Roman) who’s haunted by a family tragedy is looking for a partner.

Even though Aysel and Roman have nothing in common, they slowly start to fill in each other’s broken lives. But as their suicide pact becomes more concrete, Aysel begins to question whether she really wants to go through with it. Ultimately, she must choose between wanting to die or trying to convince Roman to live so they can discover the potential of their energy together. Except that Roman may not be so easy to convince.

Narrative-Told from the first-person POV of Aysel, MY HEART AND OTHER BLACK HOLES is a smoothly-told story about Aysel's attempts - first - to plan her own suicide, and - second - to beat her depression. The voice is  incredibly conversational, which is what I think made it so easy to read, and the additions of Aysel's passion for physics in the form of metaphors gave it its own flair, a series of details that are easy to latch onto and helpful to really understand Aysel's perspective on the events of the novel.

Plot-Aysel wants to commit suicide because she's terrified of becoming her father; she manages to find a suicide partner who lives in a town fifteen minutes away because she's certain that if she had a partner, maybe she'd actually go through with it. Enter Roman/FrozenRobot.

Aysel's journey through what was supposed to be her final month of life is a long one; while she tries to convince herself that she's going to go through with the suicide pact she made with Roman, she also starts finding reasons to live. She finds her strength through time spent with Roman: learning about him and his past and his reasons to kill himself, and the interesting development was that as much as Roman started to doubt Aysel's commitment to their pact, his growing feelings for her inspire him to try to spare her, even as he accuses her of flaking from the very beginning of their relationship.

MY HEART is about learning to live even while planning to die; the stasis of relationships is disproven as Aysel's perception changes, and it's this change in perception that ultimately drives the novel. Even if the pacing is uneven and bumpy at times, Aysel's story is largely told through a lens that's unafraid to dive into an analysis of depression (Aysel eventually calling it the "black slug"); even more, it's told through a lens that paints an image of the strength it takes to fight that depression.

Characters-Aysel is a girl struggling to overcome the shadow of her father's violent deed; Roman is a boy cracking under the guilt he feels over his sister's death. Both characters are struggling, and while one of them has fully committed to the idea of committing suicide, the other slowly starts to change their perception and think that maybe there is a way to live with their pain, even if it never goes away, and a large part of this new perception begins with the idea that it's okay to let others in, and to give other people a place in your life to help or at least be a hopeful presence.

It's largely this idea that disappointed me. Aysel has a step-father who's mentioned, but who we never see; her half-sister is mentioned numerous times but only gets a few scenes of page-time; her half-brother is mentioned, but only gets a few scenes; even her mother doesn't get a lot of page-time. Aysel's assigned a group project, and her partner is a boy who we only see maybe two or three times out of the whole book.

What disappointed me was the fact that the lack of physical presence for these characters was extremely glaring. I wanted so much more, to really see how their influence on Aysel - even if their relationship is one-sided or rocky - really affected her. I simply felt like they were stretched too thin, and thus fell into sort of contrived or stereotyped roles, even though I know there's a lot more to them than I was able to see. Their lack of flesh stalled my understanding of Aysel's development as a character. Which made me really sad, even if I loved Aysel and her character to death.

Final Answer: 4 / 5 stars

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MY HEART AND OTHER BLACK HOLES @jasminewarga is fearless. Read @Rae_Slater's review (Click to Tweet)

Friday, April 10, 2015

Things My Characters Learned (the Hard Way) #6

That's right. Every Friday, I'm going to share with ya'll a lesson my characters have learned sometime earlier that week while I wrote their story. Because we all know that sometimes the best lessons are ones learned in a more painful way than not (usually). It also serves to act as a way to share vague plot devices: what are the many ways you can get your characters into trouble? Read on to find out.


Project: UNTITLED (Hansel + Gretel retelling)
Genre: Short Story

Lesson Learned: Always be sure of your way, or at least make sure the person in charge is sure of their way. And if you still don't trust their sense of direction, take some initiative and bring something to mark down your path? Or at least a map? Because getting lost is a sure-fire way of getting into sticky situations.

Really, you never know who you might run into when you can't find your way home. Thieves, beggars, a witch or two...there's troublemakers of all kind in unfamiliar territory.


Do you write? Can your characters relate? Have your characters learned an important life lesson this week? Leave me a note in the comments! 

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TMCL: looking to get your characters into trouble? You never know who they'll run into when lost... (Click to Tweet)

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Navigating the Twitter-sphere: Getting Started

So, random note: I registered for Fall 2015 classes this morning. My last semester at college. It's so weird and nostalgic and freaking wow. Which is probably why I figured I'd talk about Twitter, since I get nostalgic thinking about when I started using it (and i can easily compare that feeling to when I started college, so, see? Connection!).

Anyway, I know. Posts about how awesome Twitter is for writers and readers have been done over and over again. But I'm going to do another one because Twitter's just awesome, only I'm going to address a different thing about Twitter: getting started.

Once upon a time when Rae was but a lowly college freshman, she wanted to see what the big deal about Twitter was. She made an account in October 2012. Then she didn't use it for a year and a half. Come April/May 2014, she said, "I'll give Twitter one more chance."

I've kind of been hooked ever since.

For me, the most intimidating thing about Twitter was the sheer volume of tweets, and the large number of intelligent people sending those tweets. Where do you begin, and who's the best people to follow? And how do you actually find those awesome and intelligent people? Here's some steps to getting started on Twitter as a reader/writer (or both):

  • Add a bio on your profile. It's just kind of nice to let people know that you're not a robot. Say a little something about yourself! You'll be surprised how that can help you make new acquaintances.
  • Add a picture to your profile. Again, people like to know that there's a face or a person of some sort behind the computer screen.
  • If you have a blog or a website, add it. I don't know about others, but I am a notorious link-clicker. I look at any websites people have on their profiles before even deciding to follow them, just to see who they are and/or the kinds of projects they're working on (yeah, I'm nosy like that).
  • Follow your favorite authors. No-brainer, right? Just follow your favorite authors. So many of them are so quirky and fabulous. They talk about their books, their writing, their lives. Some of my personal favorite author-tweets come from Maggie Stiefvater, Lauren DeStefano, and Ksenia Anske. Of course, that's an extremely shortened list. Moral of this point: follow your favorite authors. You won't regret it.
  • Follow bloggers. There's a bunch of awesome blogs on writing; there's even more awesome book blogs. Coming from a writer's perspective, this has been invaluable because bloggers are a great way to find out new things: writing tips and processes, new books, author interviews, giveaways, etc. Basically: it's an awesome way to find different perspectives on basically anything. Of course, finding a place to start with bloggers is a little more complicated than simply looking up your favorite authors, so I'll give you a heads-up: every writer should follow Ava Jae's blog, Writability. Ava's got great insight to the writing world, both hints and tips of the craft, maneuvering social media, maneuvering editing and publishing. Start there. I also recommend Kristen Kieffer, who runs She's Novel, and Christine Frazier, from Better Novel Project. Also take a look at the right side of my screen, under "Notable Blogs" - that's a short list of some of my favorite writing blogs, in case you need a place to start. Awesome book bloggers that I like checking in on include Bookish Broads and Book Nerd Reviews; again, though, there's far too many of either of these blog types to list out all of them. Explore, and see what happens!
  • Follow publishers, agents, editors, etc. Here's something awesome: the kind of general advice you can find from people actually working in publishing right now (and publishing the books that you read) is kind of awesome. Not only can you get updates on the books that you enjoy, but if you're interested in delving deeper into the writing world as a career (writing, editing, agenting, etc.), you'll find fantastic insight and advice from the people who are currently there. Some agents will tweet about what's currently on their MSWL; editors will tweet about some of the most common mistakes they find in manuscripts. If you need a place to start, try agencies: P.S. Literary and New Leaf Literary are two of my favorites to check in on, and from there you can research the individual agents who might also have a Twitter account where they talk about bookish things.

If that all looks a bit daunting...well, I'm not going to lie to you: I was daunted. I think what you'll find, though, is that once you have a place to start, you'll see all of the threads that reach out to different corners of the reading/writing world. What you'll find is that it's actually incredibly easy to find people you can connect with on some level - personal or professional. If you're active, you'll even find like-minded people in the same place in your career that you are (for example: there's a handful of other blogger/writers out there that I've connected with and that will never be able to get rid of me, no matter how hard they try. I'm like a leech, only in a non-weird and non-blood-sucking way).

So there's my extremely simplified version of how to get started on Twitter. Have any questions? Recommendations? Other comments? Ya'll know the drill by now; leave me your thoughts on how you got started navigating on Twitter!

**Note: I can talk about general Twitter etiquette at a later date; if I put it in this post, then I'd be writing a miniature novel, and nobody wants that.**

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Twitter can make your head spin. Blogger @Rae_Slater talks a few general tips on getting started for readers/writers (Click to Tweet)

Navigating the Twitter-sphere: a few tips for readers/writers who want to make the most of Twitter (Click to Tweet)

Monday, April 6, 2015

Writing Multiple POVs: Separating Stories

As I've been trying to wade through the ginormous mess that is my WIP, I did a thing last week: I read through the entire 97 k thing so I could attempt to figure out where the heck I've been going wrong in every attempt at editing I've tries thus far.

And I learned something.

I wrote a blog post last December about Writing from Multiple Perspectives, in which I explicitly state that if you're going to have more than one (major) character narrator, then you need to make sure they each have a story to tell that's theirs and their own. There's also this quote from this awesome article, Tips When Writing Multiple POV Novels, in which the author points out that each perspective "compliments two or more story arcs."

What does this have to do with my re-reading adventure?

I'm writing from two points of views. I came to realize that one of the perspectives had a far stronger voice and journey than the other. I also came to realize that one of the perspectives was relying on the other heavily instead of telling its own story. I spent the weekend thinking about this epiphany and wondered if this happened because I wrote both POVs at the same time (basically: I'd write one scene/chapter in one POV, then write the next in the other, and progress the story that way).

If anything, this little adventure of mine has reminded me how important it is that each perspective - and each character - has their own distinct story to tell. While they might interact with the same environment as another, they have their own unique experience that exists at a distance, an experience that doesn't depend on another (or, at least, shouldn't).

In my experience, if one character's POV is too heavily dependent on another: then what's the point of having two POVs in the first place? Yet something I've been positive about from the very beginning is that both of these stories need to be told on their own.

So my next step has been to divide the POVs of my WIP into two different documents. I'm going to attempt to rewrite the narrators' stories from there, one at a time, from beginning to end. By writing their stories separately, I'm hoping to maybe capture their stories and their motivations without the frame of another POV on the next page. By focusing on one at a time, maybe I'll have better luck pinning them down and discovering what they're really after.

Because, to be honest, right now it feels like a competition between the two voices and stories, both of them trying to one-up the other with their adventures. That's not really conducive to my writerly mind, though.

If I'm being honest, I'm experimenting. I'm going back to an early draft of this WIP - the most recent, finished draft that I've actually been happy with - and I'm hoping that something comes out of it because, like I mentioned, it's kind of a mess right now. But these characters' stories need to be told.

So if I wind up needing stitches because I've banged my head into the wall a few too many times, you'll know the reason why.

If you're writing from multiple POVs, maybe you'll consider writing out each story separately, as well. What's your strategy?

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Blogger @Rae_Slater talks her biggest challenge in revising her WIP: ensuring her two narrators have their own story (Click to Tweet)

When writing multiple POVs, make sure the narratives aren't overly dependent on each other (Click to Tweet)

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Tea Time: The Ties Eternal

Today I've got the final part of my three-part review series of Cait Spivey's THE WEB series! It's been a fun ride, reading all three in such a short amount of time; I also can say right now that I highly recommend Spivey's work, but let's get down to my ARC review of THE TIES ETERNAL, shall we? Then maybe ya'll can judge for yourselves.

**Warning: Spoilers May Abound**

The Ties Eternal (The Web #3), Cait Spivey

Seventeen-year-old Miranda Wolford was born Deaf, though it took her years to realize it. She thought everyone could hear the cacophony of voices that surrounded her—but those voices belong to the dead, and they are the only things Miranda can hear.

When a ghost leads Miranda to a missing child and his murderer, she tries to enlist the police; but between the communication barrier and the insane story, she can’t make them understand.
The murderer is on the loose. To stop them, Miranda will have to take matters into her own hands.(source:goodreads)

Narrative-Let me just say this first: I was absolutely blown away by the narrative voice in this novella. THE TIES ETERNAL is told from the first-person POV of Miranda Wolford, a Deaf teenager who also happens to hear and occasionally see ghosts.

Miranda's voice sounded very mature, very analytic, and very relatable, which enabled me to read without noticing the words; this is a really cool thing, because it's a sign at how very clean and easy-to-read the narrative is, telling the story while also helping the reader gain an understanding of Miranda and her personality.

Plot-THE TIES ETERNAL opens on Miranda summoning a vampire. Which means that as soon as I started, I knew this had to be good. And I need to continue to gush for a moment. This first chapter set up many things that the reader needs to know about the book: vampires mean there's a supernatural presence that at least the main character is aware of; we become aware of her handicap; we become aware of the fact that Miranda can see/hear ghosts (more supernatural). What I love is simply that this first chapter set up the novella perfectly in terms of giving us the major points about the main character as well as the genre; it's a great example to look at from a writerly perspective.

Moving on: this novella follows Miranda as she meets a ghost who's particularly intent on getting her attention. After a young boy goes missing, she comes to realize that this ghost can help her find out what happened to him (among other things). Then it's a race against the clock, to find the body, convince the police that the boy was murdered, and then (eventually) catch the murderer.

It was all very fast-paced (mysteries! I love mysteries), and while there was all this murder and mayhem happening, there was a phenomenal and well-written focus on family, and the fact that Miranda is a minority character whose father just got out of prison. It was a conflict I honestly didn't expect, and Spivey's portrayal of these characters living in a community where they're disrespected because of these facts was mind-blowing and as equally interesting as the vampires, ghosts, and serial killers popping up around town.

Characters-Ya'll might recall what I said about Spivey's characters in my review for A SINGLE THREAD, but let me quote myself: "I've come to...appreciate very quickly is how intense Spivey's characters are."

I can't restate it any better than that.

In the shorter novella form, there's not much room to introduce too many characters and give them the proper attention to make them feel full and rounded. Yet Spivey's characters feel totally real: the focus is on Miranda, a seventeen year old Deaf Latina girl who hears and sees ghosts, who kind of make her wary whenever she leaves the house, because what might she see? In addition to all the spectoral shenanigans that is her life, there's also a really great balance placed on focusing on her diverse origins. She has to deal with people sometimes talking too quickly - preventing her from being able to read their lips - or even when they purposely turn away from her while they talk, or even when there's simply so many people around that she can't follow the conversation. In addition, she has the problem of being discriminated against because of the color of her skin, and because of who her father is: many of the cops she talks to don't believe her about finding the missing boy's dead body in the woods.

It's this attention placed on the mundane in Miranda's life that adds a great surreal quality to the rest of the novel elements. Miranda's problems are very real, as well as supernatural, and most of all: they're woven together to create a solid environment to Miranda to both act in, and react, giving the reader a chance to connect to a very real and solid person.

And I'm stopping myself there because I'm getting very analytic. This is a good thing (to be honest, it means I'm studying the novel for its craft; it's amazing). I loved Miranda, and I want to be her best friend, and I think ya'll should just read this thing, too, because there's only so many different ways and contexts for me to say/use the word "phenomenal."

In her acknowledgements for this book, Cait Spivey wrote that she's "...very proud of this one...." My personal note: you should be, Spivey. You really should be.

I've simply been blown away by Cait Spivey since I began I SEE THE WEB. I've found her writing to be phenomenal, both from a reader's perspective and a writer's. Highly recommend to everybody, and I cannot wait to see what she's got in store for us in the future. She's made a fan out of me.

Final Answer: 4.66 / 5

The Goodreads giveaway for THE FIRST WEB, a paperback version of I SEE THE WEB and its sequel, A SINGLE THREAD, has unfortunately ended. However, you can still Buy Direct straight from Cait Spivey.

Meet the Author:

Cait Spivey is a speculative fiction writer and freelance editor. Fiction is a passion she doesn’t see giving up any time soon. In her spare time, she plans her next tattoo (there will always be a next tattoo) and watches too much Netflix. Anything left over is devoted to her tireless quest to make America read more. She lives in Portland, Oregon, with her darling husband Matt and adorable dog Jay.

Website * Newsletter (monthly) * Twitter * Tumblr

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THE TIES ETERNAL @CaitSpivey: a fast-paced mystery with a diverse character you'll be rooting for (Click to Tweet)

Blogger @Rae_Slater reads THE TIES ETERNAL @CaitSpivey & calls it "phenomenal" in more ways than one. Read the review (Click to Tweet)

Special thanks to Cait Spivey, who provided me with an eARC of THE TIES ETERNAL in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Things My Characters Learned (the Hard Way) #5

**Note: Happy Friday, everyone! Well, it's officially been a month since I kicked off this new weekly blog feature, Things My Characters Learned (the Hard Way), and I'd love to know what you think so far. Questions, comments, suggestions? Leave them in the comments, and I'll send you virtual cookies!

Also, something new: you can now Follow my blog with Bloglovin**
That's right. Every Friday, I'm going to share with ya'll a lesson my characters have learned sometime earlier that week while I wrote their story. Because we all know that sometimes the best lessons are ones learned in a more painful way than not (usually). It also serves to act as a way to share vague plot devices: what are the many ways you can get your characters into trouble? Read on to find out.


Genre: Short Story

Lesson Learned: Maybe Mother was on to something when she said not to talk to strangers. Just because somebody doesn't look dangerous, doesn't mean they can't effectively cause you to blind yourself before they steal your stuff.

Being young and impressionable is no excuse. If you get warnings from your own mother to help guide you safely to your destination, you might want to think about those warnings, and then actually heed them.

Mother is always right (sometimes).


Do you write? Can your characters relate? Have your characters learned an important life lesson this week? Leave me a note in the comments! 

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TMCL: Mother's always right, right? Do your character heed their parents' advice? (Click to Tweet)