NYC got hit with a major blizzard over the weekend and Husband had an extra day home from work. We spent it throwing snowballs at each other and the kids (Big A totally betrayed me and teamed up with Dad, but Little M was loyal and threw a great many powdery puffs at the both of them! Huzzah!), and chucking each other into snow banks. Much fun.
Until we had to be grown-ups and actually shovel the driveway and dig out the car.
December Giveaway (international, ends Dec 31st) and over at Tangled Fiction we have our first public round table discussion, so hop over there to see wtf we were thinking when we started our tangles and to chime in with what you thought might have happened!
Happy New Year!
In other news! Part 1 of BETHLEHEM, by me, is up on the TF blog! Here's a sneak peek! Hope you enjoy!
The last winter that time recorded started just like today, with a sky so bleak that you couldn’t tell where the earth ended and it began. It was the last winter I spent with my family in this same apartment, staring out this same window watching fat snowflakes fall. The last winter that would ever matter.
But it doesn’t matter today. Today I need food and things to burn. It’s light enough to start looking, but without the sun I can’t even guess the time. The sky is so thick and so gray, the city street so empty and muffled by snow, that it feels like I’m stuck in someplace in between.
The following comes from http://www.jewfaq.org/holiday7.htm
The story of Chanukkah begins in the reign of Alexander the Great. Alexander conquered Syria, Egypt and Palestine, but allowed the lands under his control to continue observing their own religions and retain a certain degree of autonomy. Under this relatively benevolent rule, many Jews assimilated much of Hellenistic culture, adopting the language, the customs and the dress of the Greeks, in much the same way that Jews in America today blend into the secular American society.
More than a century later, a successor of Alexander, Antiochus IV was in control of the region. He began to oppress the Jews severely, placing a Hellenistic priest in the Temple, massacring Jews, prohibiting the practice of the Jewish religion, and desecrating the Temple by requiring the sacrifice of pigs (a non-kosher animal) on the altar. Two groups opposed Antiochus: a basically nationalistic group led by Mattathias the Hasmonean and his son Judah Maccabee, and a religious traditionalist group known as the Chasidim, the forerunners of the Pharisees (no direct connection to the modern movement known as Chasidism). They joined forces in a revolt against both the assimilation of the Hellenistic Jews and oppression by the Seleucid Greek government. The revolution succeeded and the Temple was rededicated.
According to tradition as recorded in the Talmud, at the time of the rededication, there was very little oil left that had not been defiled by the Greeks. Oil was needed for the menorah (candelabrum) in the Temple, which was supposed to burn throughout the night every night. There was only enough oil to burn for one day, yet miraculously, it burned for eight days, the time needed to prepare a fresh supply of oil for the menorah. An eight day festival was declared to commemorate this miracle. Note that the holiday commemorates the miracle of the oil, not the military victory: Jews do not glorify war.
Happy Hanukkah to all those celebrating! A freilichin Chanukah! Chag Urim Sameach! And enjoy those latkes!
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This was one of those books I had a hard time putting down. I love history, so I LOVED Nastasya's flashbacks to her previous life. It almost felt like two books in one. And Reyn, the Viking god--yeah, who wouldn't love him? Great read!
If you've read it, what did you think?
View all my reviews
Here is a small teaser, but to read the full, you'll have to hop over to TF and check it out!
The caravan sat up against an old wooden fence, covered in rust and moss like it had been puked out by the earth. Vintage, her older brother Lem had called it, but Nim knew better. Vintage meant trash.
She pulled her shawl around her shoulders, but the wind still bit her skin. She couldn’t go inside yet. Lem hadn’t given the signal. Tonight’s girl was blonde, her skin bronzed by the sun. Nim looked down at her own milky white hands. She’d never have tan skin. She’d never have anything the girl in the caravan had—money, friends. It wasn’t in the cards for her.
Follow the above link to read more of this one, and our second 3 part short, WHAT WISHES ARE MADE OF! Thanks for looking!
Someone’s been a very bad zombie.
Super-smartie Kate Grable gets to play doctor, helping out her high school football team. Not only will the experience look good on her college apps, she gets to bethis close to her quarterback crush, Aaron. Then something disturbing happens. Kate finds out that the coach has given the team steroids. Except . . . the vials she finds don’t exactly contain steroids. Whatever’s in them is turning hot gridiron hunks into mindless, flesh-eating . . . zombies.
Unless she finds an antidote, no one is safe. Not Aaron, not Kate’s brother, not her best friend . . . not even Kate . . .
It’s scary. It’s twisted. It’s sick. It’s high school.
Teen fiction contest deadline is Nov. 11
Teens in grades seven through 12 can write a short story or a few chapters of a book, up to 10 typed pages, for a Teen Fiction Writing contest. The entry deadline is Nov. 11. Any genre, from contemporary, historical, fantasy, realistic, steampunk, horror or paranormal, is acceptable. The contest will coincide with a teen author event being held at Barnes & Noble on Route 59 in Nanuet at 3 p.m. Dec. 11.
The authors are Shannon Delany, author of “13 to Life”; Margie Gelbwasser, author of “Inconvenient”; Shari Maurer, author of “Change of Heart”; Jen Nadol, author of “The Mark”; and Jame Richards, author of “Three Rivers Rising.” They will read from their novels, talk about writing and publishing a book, and sign copies of their books.
The winner will get a 15-minute one-on-one critique with one of the authors before the Dec. 11 program and a signed copy of the author’s book. Entries may be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or brought to the Nanuet Barnes & Noble store. Visit www.sharimaurer.com.
Right now, if you buy a copy of REBEL MOON (includes a werewolf short by me) you'll get MISERABLE MIDDLES for 5.99 British Pounds (converts to about $9 USD). This offer is available only through twitter and facebook, not on the website, so for more details, you need to send an email to RebelBooks at hotmail dot com with the subject "Happy Halloween"! If you happen to get a copy of Rebel Moon, I would absolutely LOVE to hear from you!
Vic, Charlie's MIA father, Eddie Spears. I know it's a strange picture choice, but it actually fits, lol!
Mac Tucker, bounty hunter, can only be Michael Clarke Duncan.
Maggie's favorite indie bookstore, as usual, will have signed copies of FOREVER!
5-First Page critiques
2-First Chapter critiques
Special Drawing Challenge
It's simple: SPREAD THE WORD about this contest! If you do, I will include you in a special drawing for a three month mentorship with me.
What the mentorship will entail:
--A three month partnership where I will help you in any manner I can toward stronger writing, publication, increasing your online platform and helping you with agenting questions/search
--I will help you build or improve your query (if needed)
--A full read of your manuscript, offering advice on improvements and helping to brainstorm solutions if desired.
--An in depth look at your web presence and suggestions to hone your blog, increase followings and make suggestions with other social media to strengthen your online exposure
--Emails to answer any questions you have about writing, blogging, getting an agent, leaving an agent or how the agent relationship works
So, do you need a mentor, someone to bounce ideas around with, brainstorm solutions, ask questions about writing or platforms? I may not be 'book published' yet, but I've been around and picked up a few things. :) I also have the good fortune of being agented by Jill Corcoran of The Herman Agency, and have written over 1200 critiques for other writers, helping them strengthen their writing. Maybe I can help you, too.
If you'd like to enter for the General Drawing, you MUST be a Follower (new or old) and leave a comment. That's it, no big hoops to jump through. Just stop in and say hey, and of course I always appreciate tweets, blog links and general word spreading, but that's up to you. :)
If you wish to also enter for the mentorship draw, you MUST be a follower (new or old) AND fill out this simple form I've attached.Normally I don't do the form thing, but for something like this, it will help me stay organized.You don't need to be at the query stage or anything, just a serious writer intent on improving. :) If you think I might be able to help you on your journey, please enter!
Contest closes Wednesday, September 29th, so get those entries in, and once again thank you for spending time here at The Bookshelf Muse!
- Every scene needs to move the plot forward, needs to accomplish something
scenepage needs tension
- Don't be passive! Make things happen to your main character, not through a third party
- Ask yourself if this could be dramatized
- Be lenient with adverbs (she admonished, gravely)
- "Substitute the word 'damn' every time you are inclined to write 'very'; your editor will delete it and your writing will be as it should." - Mark Twain
- When writing an action scene, don't slow it down with descriptions