Book Review: Otherborn by Anna Silver


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Title: Otherborn
Author: Anna Silver
Genre: 
YA Paranormal, dystopian
Publisher: Sapphire Star Publishing (April 4, 2013)
Reading level: Young Adult
ISBN-13: 978-1938404320

Summary
London and her teenage friends live in a reprocessed world.

Confined within Capital City’s concrete walls, London has done the impossible and the illegal. She’s created something New- a song. But her mentor, club owner Pauly, is not impressed. Since the historic Energy Crisis forced everyone behind walls generations ago, the Tycoons have ensured there is truly nothing new allowed under the sun. Pauly warns London to keep her song to herself, if she knows what’s good for her.

What he doesn’t know is that London is keeping an even bigger secret: she dreams. And she’s not alone. London’s band-mates and friends have begun dreaming as well, seeing themselves in “night pictures” as beings from another world. As Otherborn, they must piece together the story of their astral avatars, the Others, in order to save their world from a dreamless, hopeless future.

When Pauly is murdered and an Otherborn goes missing, London realizes someone is hunting them down. Escaping along the Outroads, they brave the deserted Houselands with only their dreams to guide them. Can they find their friend before the assassin finds them? Will being Otherborn save their lives, or destroy them?

Personal Reaction

I’m fascinated with dreams, which are considered New, and therefore illegal in OTHERBORN. Silver handled the unique premise of outlawing New in a way that enriched Capital City where the main character, London lives. London has a brash and feisty personality, which is balanced out by her resolute and kind Otherborn counterpart. I loved the contrast between London’s bleak reality and her Otherborn’s lush Midplane. I found most of the characters likable and was impressed by the extent of loyalty between London and her crew. Silver built the right amount of conflict and tension to draw readers into her dystopian world and created characters who are leery, yet determined to embrace New.

Recommended?

I’d recommend this book to anyone who enjoys YA, paranormal, dystopian and feisty protagonist. 🙂

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Happy Holidays & U Got the Look Meme


Neve_em_folhas_de_Chamaecyparis_pisifera_01Winter break is here just in time for the first snow! My kids woke up bright and early, and were out sledding at 7 a.m. The wind made it colder, so we didn’t stay out long, but we had a blast.

I’m taking a break from social media and will return with a regular post on January 10, 2013.

For today, I’m participating in Elise Fallson’s “U Got The Look” meme in which Melissa Maygrove inadvertently tagged me.

The rules are simple: Track down the word “look” in your current Work-In-Progress (WIP) and post the surrounding paragraphs, and then tag 5 other people with the meme.

WIP titleBlink
Genre: Paranormal
Category: Young Adult
Orientation:  This is the point where Lexi’s world begins to spin out of control. One minute, she’s at a client’s house preparing to walk their dogs; the next, she wakes up in the hospital and something’s different.
###

“I’ve been here for two days?” There went Lexi’s perfect attendance record. Worse, two days were plenty of time for rumors to ruin what little social status she had. “How did I end up here?”

Mom tightened her hold on Lexi’s hand. “Mrs. Anderson said soon after she answered the door you blanched. Before she had a chance to offer you a seat, you passed out. Peanut cushioned your fall.”

“She okay?” If Lexi had hurt the Great Dane, she’d never forgive herself.

“She’s fine, it’s you we’re concerned about.” When Dad gave her shoulder a reassuring squeeze, his fingertips curled around to her back.

The touch stung, like a fresh sunburn. She shifted away and the heat subsided. As Dad studied her, his lips twitched to the side the way they did whenever something bothered him, and he was strategizing the best way to broach the topic.

Oh, no. What if she was sick? “Is it skin cancer? A tumor?”

“Carolyn, will you get Lexi a cup of ice?” he asked Mom.

Must be something terminal. Her eyes blurred again.

“Sure. I’ll find the doctor, too.” Mom squeezed her hand before she left.

“What do you remember?” Dad whispered in an urgent tone.

“Peanut and Blue meeting me at the front door.” She balanced the lavender towel on the bedrail.

“What else?” The bed dipped where he sat.

“Why are you whispering?”

“Just answer the question.”

“I had this stabbing pain in my temples.” She touched the left one. “Made me nauseous and dizzy. After a blinding white light, everything turned cold. Freezing cold. Then, I woke up here.” Struggling to recall more brought a rush of pressure to her eyes and made them feel like they were about to pop out of her head. Her heart monitor beeped a fast pace, until Dad clicked mute again. “Am I sick?”

He shook his head. “This can’t be right.”

“What’s going on?”

“I hope I’m wrong. For your sake.”

“You’re freaking me out!”

He glanced at the open door where footsteps clacked up and down the hall. “Let me see your right shoulder.”

The IV catheter pulled when she reached out. She winced and tugged the gown to the side. Dad leaned forward. She knew the exact moment he spotted what he was looking for. His eyes bulged and his face paled.

“What is it?” She angled her head, struggling to see. Her fingertips probed at her shoulder. She jerked her hand back when she brushed an area where it felt like someone had snuffed a cigarette. “What the hell?”

“Oh God, Lexi. This isn’t supposed to happen to you.”

“What’s not supposed to happen to me?”

Footsteps in the hall grew closer.

“Don’t let Mom see.” He straightened the material and stood before he whispered, “I’ll explain everything later.”

“Why can’t you just explain now?”

###

As for the tagging of five people, I’m feeling generous. If you took the time to stop by my blog and want to participate in this meme, please considered yourself tagged!

Are you planning to join the party? Please let me know in the comments below so I can stop by and read a sample of your WiP.

Thanks, once again, for visiting. I wish you all happy holidays!

Cover Reveal: Edge of Truth


I’m beyond excited to reveal the cover of my debut novel, EDGE OF TRUTH. Thank you to Sapphire Star Publishing for believing in me and my work. It’s been amazing working with you! I’d also like to thank my Cover Reveal Team. I’ve added links for them below. Please stop by and visit these wonderful  people.

Now, the reveal…

Title: Edge of Truth
Publisher: Sapphire Star Publishing
Category: Young Adult
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Dystopian
Release Date: June 6, 2013

 

Summary:

Citizens who report to work on time, obey the Overlord’s laws, and stay off the Synbot’s radar, live long lives. Long, dull, monotonous lives.

It’s not a bad plan for someone with a hidden, emotion-based ability to trigger earthquakes. In a world pitted against her, sixteen-year-old Rena Moon strives for a life beyond working herself to death at the factory. Seeing an alternative, she risks selling relics from the forbidden lands at Market. It becomes the worst decision she ever made. Someone kidnaps her best friend in exchange for the one thing that would end her oppression.

Driven by loyalty, Rena and seventeen-year-old Nevan Jelani, soulful composer, green thumb extraordinaire, and the secret love of her life, plot to rescue her friend and reclaim her salvage. Still, the thought lingers whether Nevan is a true hero or another thief waiting for his chance at her loot. Events spin wildly, deepening Rena’s suspicions and pushing her limit of control. With more than her chance for freedom at stake, she must decide if she’s willing to kill to protect what’s precious to her. For once, the Overlord isn’t holding all the power, but can Rena live with being reduced to what she’s trying so hard to escape?

Where to find me:

Amazon Author Page: amazon.com/author/natashahanova

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/NatashaHanova

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorNatashaHanova

Facebook Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/Hanova.Natasha

Twitter: https://twitter.com/NatashaHanova

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/natasha411/

An extra special thanks for my wonderful Cover Reveal Team:

Elizabeth Arroyo @ Chandara Writes
Dana Mason @ Dana Mason
Carrie Butler @ So You’re A Writer
Jennifer McMurrain @ Jennifer McMurrain
Melissa Maygrove  @ Melissa Maygrove 
Nicole McLaughlin @ Nicole McLaughlin
Dawn Allen @ Write On
Leatrice McKinney @ Info Dump a la El
Chris Reynolds (I’ve known this gal since college. :-))
Laura Diamond @ Author Laura Diamond
Nancy S Thompson @ Nancy S. Thompson
Carolyn Marston @ Carolyn Marston on Pinterest (This is my sister!!!)
Sarah Negovetich @ Sarah Nego Writes
Kelly Hashway @ Kelly Hashway
Ednah Walters @ The Guardian Legacy
Nickie Anderson @ Here’s The Story
Lisa Regan @
Lisa Regan
Livia @
Leave It To Livia

Thanks so much to everyone who visits this blog. It wouldn’t be the same without you! 

Connecting With Readers And Cover Reveal Team Sign Up


I recently read a post on Rachelle Gardner’s blog titled Are Writers Too Insulated From Their Readers. It made me re-think how I blog, because I’m guilty on this one. Most of my posts focus on the craft of writing. This is my passion, but I certainly don’t intend to alienate readers. 

To quote Mike Duran, “Writers must wrestle with the technical details of a story while trying to enjoy it. Readers only want to enjoy it.”

I’m not sure how to go about creating a blog that appeals to readers and writers alike. Do you have one blog dedicated to the craft and another just for fans? Do you dedicate a specific number of posts to non-writing topics? Do book reviews count as a non-writing topic?

What are your thoughts? Do you know of a blog(s) that balance the two?

PLUS….

I’m gearing up for a cover reveal (squee!) for EDGE OF TRUTH on November 23 and I’d love your help. You don’t have to have a blog to participate. Facebook, Pinterest (find me here), Tmblr, Twitter, etc. offer options for posting material.

If you’re interested, please fill out this form and I’ll contact you with the information you’ll need. You can also leave a comment below, tweet me, or Facebook me. Thanks!

Real Or Fake?


Where story settings are concerned writers have options: real, fake, or both. I’ve used them all. My short story ZOMBIE KIBOSH CREW is strategically based in St. Louis, MO. I used Google Maps to help me get a satellite view and when I zoomed in close enough, it gave a virtual point of view. It’s awesome. Give it a try. My WiP BLINK is based on Golden, CO with a major fictional spin to it. The setting in my debut novel EDGE OF TRUTH is set in 2248. I used a real calendar (cause I’m a geek like that), but created the setting through world building.

Of the three, I find faking it a.k.a. world building the most difficult, yet fun and rewarding.

How about you? Please take my poll and/or leave a comment to let me know what kind of settings you like to use and why.

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Big News!


I’m so proud to announce that I’ve joined the amazing group of authors at Sapphire Star Publishing! It still feels surreal. I was on vacation in Florida when one of the co-owners contacted me. As soon as I read, “Thank you for contacting Sapphire Star Publishing,” I assumed it was a nice start to yet another rejection. I actually asked my husband to read the email to confirm it was a full manuscript request. Then, came the wait and ensuing self-doubt some writers experience when their baby a.k.a. manuscript is in the hands of an agent, editor, or publisher.

When the response arrived with a publishing contract for my YA dark paranormal romance EDGE OF TRUTH, I cheered and danced around my kitchen. I’m so excited about this next phase in my writing career I hardly know what to do with myself. I’m so grateful for my amazing CPs Dawn Allen, L.L. McKinney, and Nicole McLaughlin and their continued support and encouragement over the years. The next round of Chai Tea Lattes is on me, girls! *Hugs!*

As a bonus, Nicole is also a photographer. She took my official author photo, which I’m so making my new blog, Facebook, twitter, etc. picture. Latte + cookie for you. 🙂

Even more exciting, I have a release date for EDGE OF TRUTH. 

Click here to see the official Sapphire Star Publishing announcement.

p.s. The clues I gave yesterday (excluding 4, 8, and 13) were tidbits about characters in my book.

The Ripple Effect


It’s been a while since I started a blog chain and what more appropriate post than this one about the ripple effect to start one. I’m kicking off this chain with the following question:

Has your manuscript (WIP or completed) experienced a ripple effect, where one change affected the manuscript from beginning to end? If so, how?

The premise behind the blog chain idea is for you to write this question at the top of a post, link it back to the person whose blog you read it on, answer the question, and invite others (consider this your formal invitation) to participate. Last, post a link to participant(s) who link back to your blog to complete the chain.

Photo Credit: jeuxsansfrontieres

The other day during my critique group, we discussed how making changes to a story can have ripple effects. Sometimes, those ripples are small. For example, during one of many revisions to my YA dark paranormal EDGE OF TRUTH, where I’ve created a futuristic, dystopian world I realized my characters spent a lot of time outside without eye protection from their too bright sun. Everyone running around with sunglasses was too Agent Smith from the Matrix so instead, I added something more durable and literally flexible: sun hats. OMG, Rena’s (the MC) love interest Nevan looks so hot in a his hat.

As I moved through the manuscript finding scenes where hats were needed, I discovered how much something so simple enriched the world building. It gave my characters something to hide their face behind when embarrassed or angry, it gave them something to hold for comfort, it gave them something to wring in worry. Plus, something so normal helped make them feel real.

I’ve had stronger ripples as well, especially when I brought in a new character who I had to seamlessly work throughout the entire manuscript.

The movie Butterfly Effect is an extreme example of how one change can affect the future.

I’m interested in hearing whether you’ve experienced the ripple effect in your work and if so, how? If you decide to participate in this blog chain, please let me know so I can include a link. If you just want to leave your comments below, that works for me, too. Note: There’s no timeline on this, so link whenever you want.

Please visit these blogger(s) too to see how they answered the question:

∞ Dawn Allen at Write On
Consider yourself linked: