Book Review: Audie the Angel and the Aging Plague (The Angel Archives, vol 2) – by Erika Kathryn

The Angel Archives, book 2Book: Audie the Angel and the Aging Plague (The Angel Archives, vol 2)
Author: Erika Kathryn
Publisher: Erika Kathryn
Date: 2013
Genre: MG chapter book, fantasy, adventure
Pages: 186
Price: paper, $9.89; Kindle $6.57
My rating: an ongoing adventure young readers will enjoy
 

I received this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.

In Audie the Angel and the Aging Plague, Erika Kathryn continues the story she started in volume one of The Angel Archives. (You can read my review here.) Having just read book one, I had no trouble following the characters, but for someone starting with book two it may be confusing as to who they are. The plot is good but I did wonder if, in places, it is more for an older or advanced reading audience.

As an adult reader who notices typos, wording, and grammar glitches there were things that disturbed me. The story is basically a good one, and the author has an amazing imagination, but she needs better editing to correct grammar and spelling mistakes and a good dictionary and thesaurus to improve her use of words with meanings she intends. 

In this volume of The Angel Archives, Audie (the angel) and Cave (her human friend) join forces with the angel army to save humans from the infection of an aging plague. Once the infected human ages to the point of death they become … something else quite awful.  I will give you the link to my young friend’s review at This Kid Reviews Books so you can get an idea of the story from a member of the intended reading group, but with slight spoilers. 

Again there is action, drama, all manner of interesting creatures, and characters who make the reader care about them. When the story comes to its close a list of questions challenges the reader.

Erika Kathryn ended Audie the Angel and the Aging Plague with a bit of a cliffhanger, the same way she ended volume one, so you know there is another book in process to continue the drama. Young readers will look forward to finding out what happens to Audie and her friends as the adventure progresses.

You can find Audie the Angel and the Aging Plague (The Angel Archives, vol 2) listed on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

Thank you for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)

 

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How old is your pet? Conversion charts for dogs & cats

IMG_0716I’m sure you have heard and used the method of figuring out the age of your dog. Veterinarians figured out it’s inaccurate to say 1 year in a dog’s life equals 7 years in a human’s life, and they came up with a new chart. (This info I obtained from this very good site: http://www.dogbreedinfo.com)  I also found out there is a chart for cats, too. (Look on this site: http://cats.about.com/cs/healthissues/a/agechart.htm)

<– my dog, Meyya
 
Dog                 Human           Cat         Human
5 months   = 10 years        
8 months   = 13 years         
10 months = 14 years        
1 year         = 15 years           1 year   = 15 years
2 years      = 24 years          2 years  = 24 years
3 years      = 28 years          3 years  = 28 years
4 years      = 32 years          4 years  = 32 years 
5 years      = 36 years          5 years  = 36 years
6 years      = 40 years         6 years  = 40 years
7 years      = 44 years          7 years  = 44 years
8  years     = 48 years         8 years = 48 years
9 years      = 52 years         9 years = 52 years
10 years    = 56 years        10 years = 56 years
11 years     = 60 years       11 years = 60 years
12 years    = 64 years        12 years = 64 years
13 years    = 68 years        13 years = 68 years
14 years    = 72 years        14 years = 72 years
15 years    = 76 years        15 years = 76 years
16 years    = 80 years       16 years = 80 years
17 years    = 84 years        17 years = 84 years
18 years   = 88  years       18 years = 88 years
19 years   = 91 years         19 years = 92 years
20 years   = 94 years       20 years = 96 years
21 years   = 97 years
22 years   = 100 years
23 years   = 103 years
24 years   = 106 years
 
cool-cat.jpgmy cat, Scamper
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

What fun pet facts do you have to share?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! :)

Book Review: The Moon has a Date with the Sun – by Marc Geller

The Moon has a Date with the SunBook: The Moon has a date with the Sun
Author: Marc Geller
Illustrator: Robert M. Henry
Publisher: Marc Geller
Date: February 8, 2013
Genre: children’s fantasy
Pages: 44
Price: Paper – $10.80; Kindle – under $1
My rating: fun story with great illustrations
 

The Moon has a date with the Sun by Marc Geller is a fascinating story for children. The illustrations are fabulous – bright, cheery, realistic portrayals of cityscapes, day and night sky, and more colourful, beautiful pages by very accomplished artist Robert M. Henry.

The Sun is king of the sky, but he gets lonely even though he demands he is the only one who can take up space in his sky. A little cloud befriends Sun and suggests maybe he and Moon can meet. Moon is lonely too and is interested when the cloud mentions the possibility of her having a friend. Sun and Moon begin to have hope.

You have to read this yourself to see what happens. It’s a cute story, one which children will love to read or to have read to them. The words are rather advanced in places for the youngest ones, but it’s a great way to introduce words with their meanings in context. It also will teach them some historical facts in a fun way.

The Moon has a date with the Sun is quite a different story, well done and interesting, almost like a fable.

You can find The Moon has a date with the Sun listed on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)

 

Book Review: Audie the Angel and the Angel Army (The Angel Archives, vol 1) – by Erika Kathryn

The Angel Archives, book 1Book: Audie the Angel and the Angel Army (The Angel Archives, vol.1)
Author: Erika Kathryn
Publisher: Erika Kathryn
Date: December 1, 2012
Genre: MG chapter book, fantasy, adventure
Pages: 206
Price: paper, $9.89; Kindle $4.67
My Rating: unusual angel fantasy for middle grade readers
 

I received this book in exchange for my honest review.

Audie the Angel and the Angel Army (The Angel Archives, vol.1),  written by Erika Kathryn, is intended for middle grade readers and has clean language. Audie is a twelve-year-old girl who learns she is not only a girl, but also an angel, after she is whisked off to heaven. There she is instructed in all manner of things to develop her innate skills which she didn’t even know she had. Audie is needed to help save heaven.

The one telling the story is a twelve-year-old boy who has very romantic feelings for Audie, and who ends up being taken along because he witnessed the moment when another angel comes to transport Audie to heaven.

Erika Kathryn has taken great liberties and is very imaginative in her portrayal of heaven and angels. She also uses humour and has developed characters who are very human in personality – except for Audie who is depicted as being perfect in every way – but who have angel abilities, albeit unusual ones. Young readers will probably be quite amused and interested in the story which includes drama, battles, and rivalry. Also, there are ten fun trivia questions in the back of the book to test the reader’s memory on what is in the book.

It would have helped had the author referred to a thesaurus while writing this book and had better editing to catch the things she missed. There are some misspelled words and a few words which have entirely different meanings from what Erika Kathryn obviously intended.

Audie the Angel and the Angel Army (The Angel Archives, vol.1)  by Erika Kathryn is the beginning of a series.

You can find Audie the Angel and the Angel Army (The Angel Archives, vol.1) listed on my Buy The Book! page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)

My trip on the wild side!

I thought today I would give you something to laugh at, or smile if you want to be polite.  I’ll never know. :)

I have never been a biker. Long ago I told my husband if we had a bicycle built for two – that might be fun. I guess I was the only one who thought so. Then the adult trikes came out. He teased me that maybe I should have one and he could put a motor on the back. Um. No, thanks! The motor would change the whole thing in many ways.

Recently one of my daughters brought to my attention a sale that was just what I needed. My husband and I went shopping and we came home with this:

my trike

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yep! I’m taking a trip on the wild side!

It was my husband’s bright idea to put the flag on the back for my safety. And of course here we have to wear helmets. I’m obviously no glamour queen ;) but I do enjoy my trike, which I prefer to call a bike.

Can you see my little Meyya in the basket on the back? Here, let me give you a closer view:

Meyya on trike

 

 

 

 

 

 

She seems to enjoy it. I have a very short lead leash I sometimes used for my now deceased beautiful “wolf dog”, and that is what I use to be sure Meyya doesn’t tumble out. Not that that is likely as she settles right down for the ride.

Meyya was a lot fluffier in that picture, but that was before I got her groomed yesterday afternoon. With her coat very short it shows even more how little she is, not even 6.5 pounds at 10 months of age. I doubt my little Schnoodle will even be 7 pounds at a year old. She may be small but she has a big personality and is adorable, funny, and very much my dog.

Meyya.10 months

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, there’s your chuckle for today. I hope I gave you a smile.

What do you do for outdoor fun?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)

 

Sue Harrison’s “Writing the Third Dimension” – part 18: Tension

Welcome back! Over the next many months we invite you to return here, specifically on the fourth Thursday of each month for the newest installment of Sue Harrison‘s teaching: Writing The Third Dimension. You can read all the segments by clicking on the page title WRITING THE THIRD DIMENSION, found under Writers’ Helps & Workshops on the drop-down menu. Please feel free to ask questions and leave comments for Sue. Now for the topic for month eighteen:

********

“Writing the Third Dimension” – part 18: Tension

My editor recently read the first 20,000 words of a novel I’m writing called BONE FIRE. BONE FIRE is set circa 6000 B.C. in Eastern Europe near the Danube River’s famed “Iron Gates,” and 20,000 words comprise approximately 1/5 of the novel. To my delight, she liked what I’ve written so far, and, even better, she also designated where I should ramp up the tension. Advice like that is absolutely golden to a novelist, because tension is what grabs readers and pulls them into the story.

IMG_0444 As a novelist, my goal is to entice readers into my story and keep them there. Achieving that depends on a number of factors, but let’s assume that my reader loves my chosen genre, that she wants to escape into a novel, and she has time away from distractions and life’s mundane chores. If that is the case, then the pulling-in and the keeping-there depends mainly on my storytelling skills. Yikes! That’s a little scary, but not quite so scary if I remind myself that I can use a relatively simple writing device to help make my story more captivating.

And that writing device is…?

Tension! (Give yourself a gold star if you already knew because you read the title of this post.)

All right, I can hear you say, “Aw come on, Sue. Tension is NOT simple.”

Well, maybe not simple, and maybe not even easy, but definitely a skill that almost any writer can learn. I like to visualize tension as a ladder my readers ascend. Step by step they climb toward the high point or climax of the novel.

Through the years, I’ve found a variety of ways to tighten the tension, lift my story, and entice my readers to take that next step up.

1. Internal conflict. (See Writing the Third Dimension, Part 16: “Conflicted.”)

2. External conflict. (See Writing the Third Dimension, Part 17: “Curses Foiled Again.”)

3. Small mysteries. (Why is the main character afraid of cats? Who is that man watching from the shadows?)

4. Large mysteries. (Who killed John Doe?)

5. The use of short, quick paragraphs or sentences. (These will make the reader read more quickly and up-pace the tempo in a subtle way.)

6. Unexpected emotional responses from the characters. (When John gives Mary the new car, she becomes angry. The reader was expecting her to celebrate.)

7. Confrontation between characters through dialogue or physical action.

8. An unexpected turn or detour in the main plot line.

9. A teaser at the end of a chapter that makes the reader want to continue to the next chapter. (I’ll discuss how to write teasers in my August post.)

10. A poor decision made by one of the characters.

11. An undercurrent of foreshadowing about what may happen next. (Subtle is the by-word here.)

12. Heartache moments.

13. Moments of small victory when your point-of-view character conquers the odds to succeed.

14. A change in the rhythm of your words. (I’m referring here to actual word choices. If your chosen “voice” for the novel is flowery, you might choose to write a short section in very succinct and harsh-sounding words. Or vice versa. Let your ears be the judge of how well this works. Read your rhythm changes out loud to check their effectiveness.)

15. A first kiss or any romantic meeting.

16. Rescue and the need for rescue.

17. Pain. Physical, mental, emotional. (Be sure you present this as a “showing” event. You shouldn’t tell your reader, “Joe was in agony.”  Show the reader that Joe is suffering through his words, actions, and angst.)

18. Cutting unnecessary wordiness. (Especially awkward words like wordiness!)

How do you ramp up the tension in your novels or stories? Share with us!

Strength to your pen!

Sue

*Writing the Third Dimension, copyright, 2010 Sue Harrison*

Sue HarrisonBestselling author, Sue Harrison, has written two Alaska trilogies: The Ivory Carver Trilogy and The Storyteller Trilogy, and a middle readers’ book SISU. Prior to the publication of her novels, Harrison was employed at Lake Superior State University as a writer and acting director of the Public Relations Department and as an adjunct instructor in creative writing and advanced creative writing. For more information, click here. To inquire about booking Sue for workshops or speaking engagements this year, click here.

Thanks for joining us! Please feel free to leave your questions and comments. We invite you to come back August 28, 2014, for part 19.

Book Review: Dreamlander – by K. M. Weiland

DreamlanderBook: Dreamlander
Author: K. M. Weiland
Publisher: PenForASword
Date: January 14, 2014
Genre: epic fantasy
Pages: 546
Price: Kindle under $4; paper $12.96
My Rating: a fully engaging fantastical journey

 

Have you ever been so affected by a book it sticks with you for days after you’ve read the last page? Dreamlander by K.M. Weiland had that effect on me.

Have you ever wakened from a dream that seemed so real it felt as if you were really there? The residue of it stays with you? The memory of it keeps recurring?  Have you ever wondered which is more real – where you are or where you were in your dream?

Chris Redston’s recurring dream was sure to kill him if he didn’t hurry and wake up! Who was that woman warning him to not cross the worlds? Why was she so desperately trying to convince him to not come over? What a ridiculous dream! He felt as if he were losing his mind. Then he discovered the note taped to his window, the note warning him about his dreams; but he had told no one about them!

This story grabbed my interest from its very beginning and did not, would not, let me go. It’s filled with suspense, action, drama, believable emotion of the characters, danger, hope, battles, and so much more. The main character has to deal with his dysfunctional father’s problems by day and then at night … those crazy dreams. Then things get really complicated for him when he learns he is a Gifted who holds the balance of both worlds in his hands. He is drawn into the battle between good and evil – and the reader is taken on a fantastical journey.

K.M. Weiland created a parallel world with such detail and believability the reader is challenged to consider the possibilities. To say Dreamlander is a good read is an understatement. If any reader can set aside the tangible and get hold of the visuals presented by K.M. Weiland, there is an amazing adventure waiting to be enjoyed.

Dreamlander by K. M. Weiland is a BRAG Medallion winner and was a finalist for the 2014 National Indie Excellence Award in the Writing and Publishing category.

 You can find Dreamlander listed on my Buy The Book! page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)