IT'S ALL ABOUT THE CHARACTERS
Yes, this is October’s ‘Latest Reads’. I need to just accept ‘Latest Reads’ as a double meaning title and get over it. I thoroughly enjoy writing this blog and it is great writing practice, but I seem to be late more often than I’m on time these days. And of course, my excuse never changes: I’m busy. But it’s so true…I always forget how hectic this time of year is as a teacher, so many holidays, special trainings, meetings, tasks, etc. Then of course, November is National Writing Month, so I have been inspired to set a goal that I would finish ONE (just one) Work In Progress AND get out my first attempt at self-publication (considering how busy this month is and how quickly it will fly by, I have set a rather lofty goal for myself).
Thankfully, I am closer than ever before to my first self-publication. For over a year, I have been working on a dual story publication with fellow author and friend, Jennifer Paquette. Of course, she is so insanely talented that her story is ready and fantastic. However, for my part of the collaboration, I’m still up in the air with the title. What started as a ‘good witch gone bad’ story has become a story about a magical pair of shoes with the land of Oz undertones.
In the beginning, I tried to develop a plot first and THEN develop the characters. Um, yeah…that so does NOT work for me! I am a character driven writer. Period. End of story. My characters need to be fully formed with names, physical characteristics and personalities first. Then their tales play out like scenes in my head and I write what I see and hear (yes, I totally talk to myself when my characters are having conversations amongst themselves in my head). ANYWAY, many months later after multiple character/setting/storyline overhauls, I FINALLY like these characters and this story! Once it has a title and a few more tweaks, I should be able to check off self-publishing portion of my November goal. As for the other part, I’m still trying to decide which WIP to finish I intend to finish…
BACK TO THE TASK AT HAND...the October Latest Reads features two very cool characters: Aurora Teagarden and Mel Chaser. Read on to find out more about these two heroines!
Last Scene Alive by Charlaine Harris: In this installment of the Aurora Teagarden series, Aurora has lost her husband as is trying to find a sense of peace. It’s much harder than she imagined when an ex boyfriend and a film crew show up in her town, filming the movie, which was based on the gruesome serial killings in her hometown many years ago. When her ex left shortly after the murders, things between the two were very unsettled. Once he left he wrote the ‘Real Murders’ book, which chronicled the murders. Now he’s back with his Hollywood girlfriend in tow, who just happens to be playing Aurora’s character in the movie. The very movie, Aurora wants nothing to do with and neither does her step-son, who coincidentally hates her and has a part in the movie. As with all of Mrs. Harris’ books, there is much more to this story, not to mention her well thought-out subplots!
Final thought: I enjoyed this one as much as the others and look forward to the next one!
The Reaper Within by Stephanie Jackson: I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. I really liked this story and the main character, Mel Chaser. She is a modern day ghost hunter (so to speak). Technically, she is a Reaper, and she must find lost souls to cross them over into the Light (or wherever they are going). I enjoyed the plot of the story, and most of the story was told through dialogue. Ms. Jackson intertwined two separate story lines together. Not only was I surprised by the ending and the nice twists, I also found them quite entertaining.
Final Thought: Personally, I would prefer a few more descriptions woven into the story, but that isn’t stopping me from reading the second one!
The Reaper Within by Stephanie Jackson: I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. This a continuation of The Reaper Within and this story picks up immediately after the first one. Again, we follow Reaper, Mel Chaser in her quest to cross-over souls. In this story, we meet ‘the Light’. Mel teams up with an angel to rid the world of seven dark souls that have come to bring about the reign of evil. We spend more time with Mel’s business partner, Betty, and her husband, Jack. We even meet a few Archangels! Again, Ms. Jackson wove an interesting tale, including more descriptions within the text. I enjoyed this book as much as the first. All in all, a great read.
Final Thought: I hope there are more Reaper books coming!
Allegiant by Veronica Roth
A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin (I really am close to finishing this one!)
The Magician’s Assistant by Ann Patchet