Friday, May 31, 2013

Book 5 and a Demon with a message?

The fifth book for The Artful Readers Club

My review:
This was an interesting story. It was interesting to read from a male POV but I was surprised when POV changed in the middle of the book. It was alright though because the flow of the story didn’t falter. For once it was nice to fall right in the middle of romance and see how the couple fights for love. Characters were beautifully written and I really liked Seth’s and Dani’s relationship. A great read.

This is the book's blurb:
SOUL FOR SALE... Love. Power. Control.

The lure of having it all is strong, and when 17-year-old Seth is given the opportunity, how can he say no? And why should he? With nothing to lose and everything to gain, Seth is an easy target for the evil that invades his soul.

But love is a powerful force, and despite everything, Dani knows that the boy she fell in love with is hiding somewhere behind the darkness in his eyes, and she’s not about to give up so easily.

Time is running out and instead of having control, Seth is quickly losing it. Dani must rely on the truth in her heart to pull the dark force out of Seth. But will the power of love and faith be enough to conquer evil? Or is it too late for both of them?

I followed this tutorial.

Here is my question:  Does a book have to have a message?

I wrote a review for a different book where I was wondering what the point of the story was because I felt like there was no resolution. You know how in school you're taught that a story has to have a beginning, a middle and an end?

In Nigel Watts’ Writing A Novel and Getting Published he talks about 8 points authors should use during their writing process:
  1. Stasis - This is the every day life in which the story is set.
  2. Trigger - Something beyond the control of the protagonist / hero / heroine is the trigger which sparks off the story.
  3. The quest - The trigger results in a quest.
  4. Surprise - Includes pleasant events but more often means obstacles, complications, conflict and trouble for the protagonist.
  5. Critical choice - At some stage the protagonist needs to make a crucial decision.
  6. Climax - The critical choice(s) made by the protagonist need to result in the climax, the highest peak of tension in a story.
  7. Reversal - The reversal should be the consequence of the critical choice and the climax and it should change the status of the characters.
  8. Resolution - Return to a fresh stasis – one where the characters should be changed, wiser and enlightened, but where the story being told is complete.

For me a book needs to built up to some event and then resolve it. Resolution usually means the protagonist and the reader learned something from this event. It doesn't need to be earth shattering enlightening message but there needs to be one to make sense of it all.

Now, the author told me in a very nice way that events were somewhat autobiographical and she was just telling a story and it doesn't have to have a message. Like I said above I disagree with this.

Even though the author just wanted to tell her story, in order for the reader to sympathize with the protagonist and make sense of the events, there has to be some inner monologue to explain why certain actions were taken or not taken.

I'm going with an example here. A young teenage girl is assaulted and nearly raped by a male friend twice on different accounts and she doesn't go to a police or tells anyone about it. I totally understand how that works in reality but when you put an event like that in a book you have to explain to the reader what goes on in that girl's mind that she decides not to take action. You can't just let the reader fill in the blanks.

That's why I didn't see sense in this story because it was just a string of events where actions weren't explained and the only message I got from this book was if something bad happens, you should keep it to yourself and if you stand up for someone or yourself, you get shot dead.

Yes, I got a message from this book even though the author said there was no message. See what happens if the author doesn't explain actions? The reader walks away with a message that the author didn't intend to give.

This book would probably have a totally different impact on me, if the protagonist's actions were explained or at least the reader could witness her thought process.

Linking to Paint Party Friday.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Freaky Wednesday

This is the last Freaky Wednesday in May. :) I'm not sure if I'm going to continue but I had fun. I'm not giving any promises. No art to share today though.

Freaking awesome Etsy Shop to check out:
Thanks to Denthe's Promote your Etsy shop campaign, I had 5 shops to share with you this month. The fifth and final one is maikacreations.

If you have young kids around you, this is the shop you want to go visit. These are such fun and cute clothes that I would want to wear, if they'd come in my size. :) You have T-shirts for boys as well as girls and lots of skirts and dresses for cute little girls. Go over there and take a look.

To check out previous Etsy shops that I helped promote, go HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE.

Hey, did you read any good books lately?
If you liked The Hunger Games series you're going to like I Am Alive volume 1-3I really love this plot even though its concept is similar to Hunger Games. Characters are wonderful and author’s writing style is right up my alley. You have to read the author’s notes at the back as it explains some of the questions readers have had previously. I didn’t even think of some of the stuff that is explained but I’m glad that I know them now. I can’t wait to see what happens with Decca, Leo and Woo in a sequel.

Is there a movie I should see?

Yes! I remembered another one I liked. It's a 2012 movie called Seven Psychopaths. What was funny to me was that Colin Farrell played an Irishman in this movie and since he is one you'd think he'd do a good job with the accent but I was like, why is he changing his accent in every scene? I really thought he was bad at it. :) But the movie was awesome!

Tip of the week:

Funny sh*t:

An inspirational Wednesday quote:
Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.
~ Robert A. Heinlein

Freaking YouTube:

Monday, May 27, 2013

Fish inspiration and dog video

I'm again using an old sketch of mine and coloring it in. :)

We had a picnic on Saturday but it rained all day so we were partying indoors. I didn't do much else but eat bad food.

Watch this and lower your volume because there is barking involved. That's my voice you hear and I'm asking her, "what did you say?"  :)

Linking to:
Motivational Monday,  
Inspire me Monday,  
be Inspired and be an Inspiration,
Soul Food Monday
and Creative Every Day.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Marie Antoinette and new projects

I found my old sketch of Marie Antoinette and I thought I'd color it in. :) I wasn't really fond of the original background so I painted it black in Photoshop.

I don't know what to write about today so I'm just going to tell you about some projects I'm working on.

I intend to revamp my Free Tips page. Now it's just basically a post about how to set up an online workshop. I'm planning to make an e-book with illustrations out of it and present it a little differently.

I'm also working on adding another e-book which will be free as well. And there will be a monthly post about some blogger tips and tricks.

I intend to revamp my newsletter as well. I will add a video that will recap everything that happened that month on my blog.

Oh, and I have an idea for my next online workshop. :) I just need to get my butt in gear and start filming.

Boring post, eh? :) Ok, how about you tell me what's your favorite dessert?

Linking to Paint Party Friday. Have a fabulous weekend!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Freaky Wednesday

I'm doing Freaky Wednesday's in May because I have stuff to share with you. :) If I don't get bored, I might continue afterwards as well. Let's be surprised.

Inspired by Teesha Moore's fun drawing lesson that is this week's Kristin Dudish Tutorial Try-out.

Freaking awesome Etsy Shop to check out:
Thanks to Denthe's Promote your Etsy shop campaign, I have 5 shops that I will share with you this month. The fourth one is CassienadognamedBoo.

How freaking awesome is her art?! You can pick and choose between original paintings, art prints or sculptures. Her Fairytale art is my favorite. Go over there and check it out.

To check out previous Etsy shops that I helped promote, go HERE, HERE and HERE.

Hey, did you read any good books lately?
I really enjoyed Obsidian (A Lux Novel)This was a great story and a pleasure to read. I don’t think I read any alien books before this apart from Host but it really didn’t feel much alien at all. Daemon and Katy are wonderful characters and I really loved reading their bickering. Attraction between them was sweet and I really enjoyed the whole book.

Is there a movie I should see?

Oh-oh! I lied last week when I told you I can't find any new films I like. This is last year's movie but it was pretty awesome and you should check it out, if you like Quentin Tarantino movies. Django Unchained.

Tip of the week:

Funny sh*t:

An inspirational Wednesday quote:
A committee is a group of people who individually can do nothing but together can decide that nothing can be done.
~ Fred Allen

Freaking YouTube:

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

$50 Gift Card & Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen by Sally Smith O’Rourke

Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen

Was Mr. Darcy real? Is time travel really possible? For pragmatic Manhattan artist Eliza Knight the answer to both questions is absolutely, Yes! And Fitzwilliam Darcy of Pemberley Farms, Virginia is the reason why!

His tale of love and romance in Regency England leaves Eliza in no doubt that Fitz Darcy is the embodiment of Jane Austen’s legendary hero. And she’s falling in love with him. But can the man who loved the inimitable Jane Austen ever love average, ordinary Eliza Knight?

Eliza’s doubts grow, perhaps out of proportion, when things start to happen in the quiet hamlet of Chawton, England; events that could change everything. Will the beloved author become the wedge that divides Fitz and Eliza or the tie that binds them?

Praise for Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen
O’Rourke creates a world that defies cynicism and demands suspension of disbelief – even in this age of doubt and hyper-realism. Sheer escapism at its best. Clever, charming and affectionate.
~Jocelyn Bury

…the reader must tenaciously read on rather than put the book down to satisfy their hunger for the story to resolve, which it does in characteristically Jane Austen fashion.
~Erin Murdock

In Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen, author Sally Smith O’Rourke creates a compelling story that investigates what and who might have inspired Jane Austen. While the story line is certainly far-fetched, it is a truly unique idea, one that captivated this reader until the very last page.
~Meg Massey


Author Sally Smith O'Rourke

Sally Smith O’Rourke is a surgical scrub nurse at the City of Hope national cancer research hospital in Duarte, California and resides in the near-by Victorian village of Monrovia.

With her late husband, author Michael O’Rourke (aka F.M. O’Rourke) Smith O’Rourke owned and operated a medical advertising company where she used her diverse talents to produce and co-write teaching films and videos. Working not only with major medical and surgical manufacturing companies but also network television. These endeavors ultimately led to a collaboration on two feature films (direct to video) and three published novels.

The wife and husband writing team of Sally Smith and Michael O’Rourke, being long-time fans of Jane Austen, wrote The Man Who Loved Jane Austen released by Kensington Books in 2006. Kensington followed that very successful effort with The Maidenstone Lighthouse in 2007 and Christmas at Sea Pines Cottage in 2009, both also collaborative projects by Smith and O’Rourke. Published after her partner and spouse’s untimely death in 2001, the publisher chose not to use the names Michael O’Rourke and Sally Smith (as the manuscripts were presented), releasing all three books under Sally Smith O’Rourke.

Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen is Sally Smith O’Rourke’s first solo novel.
Yours Affectionately tour
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Monday, May 20, 2013

I demand euphoria!

Happiness isn’t good enough. I demand euphoria! 
~ Darynda Jones, Charley Davidson Series

If you don't want to miss any of my painting videos click this button below to take you to my channel and subscribe.

Linking to:
Motivational Monday,  
Inspire me Monday,  
be Inspired and be an Inspiration,
Soul Food Monday
and Creative Every Day.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Soaring video

Soar is painted on fine cardboard the size of 5,5"x8" or 14x20cm. Available through Etsy. FREE shipping available in May. Use coupon code FREESHIPPING at the checkout.

Special Friday Randomness:
  • I got sunburn on Wednesday and all I did is read a book outside in a partly cloudy weather
  • I had a stupid moment yesterday behind the wheel. I stopped at a traffic light on the left lane to turn left when a car from the main street tried to turn on the street where I was but I was in his way. At first I was confused why would the guy want to turn the wrong way into the one-way street then I realized it's not a one-way street. Yeah. Are you picturing this? Luckily the old guy was in a good mood and only smiled at me and waited patiently for me to get out of his way.
  • As a part of a motivational / healing exercise I tried to write down 100 things that worked out in my life and I only got to 21. I'm thinking there are three reasons for it. Either I'm a loser, my life is boring or I'm too young for 100 things. :)
  • I added my custom "Pin it" button to my blog to make it easier for you to pin my photos to your Pinterest boards. Just hover over the photos with your mouse and check it out.
  • I joined Leonie Dawson's Amazing Biz + Life Academy and I'm loving it. I'm on a path to taking my life and art biz to the next level. :)
You might have seen this painting before on my FB page during my 30 days challenge. You can watch the video below to see how she evolved.

Linking to Paint Party Friday. Have a fabulous weekend!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Freaky Wednesday

I'm doing Freaky Wednesdays in May because I have stuff to share with you. :) If I don't get bored, I might continue afterwards as well. Let's be surprised.

Last week I saw Denthe's tutorial and I immediately thought this would be a good one for Kristin Dudish' Tutorial Try-Out. So, I e-mailed her about it and she decided it would be this week's featured tutorial. :) If you decide to try it out, link your creations to Kristin's post and send Denthe a link, too, because she would love to see it. Her words, not mine. :)

Freaking awesome Etsy Shop to check out:
Thanks to Denthe's Promote your Etsy shop campaign, I have 5 shops that I will share with you this month. The third one is ThisLilPiggyShoes.

Oh my gosh! Look at those cute baby shoes! If you have a baby you must get some. She also has bibs available and those adorable ankle cuffs with bells. Awesome right!?

To check out previous Etsy shops that I helped promote, go HERE and HERE.

Hey, did you read any good books lately?
Of course I did. It's called Open Minds (Book One of the Mindjack Trilogy)This book had a unique story line.

I always cringe when I read about mind reading in a book but this is totally different. The whole society are mind readers and you’re actually an outsider or a zero if you don’t develop the skill. This was a thrilling read.

I did not expect the story to go the way it did. It kept surprising me and I did not see Simon’s “situation” coming. Even though he was a fishy character I believed his heart was in the right place when it came to Kira. I was actually sorry about what happened to him.

Kira was a great character, strong and with a sound mind even though she was thrust into something she didn’t understand. I loved how this book ended even though it was frustrating that the government managed to cover up most of it. Awesome read.

Is there a movie I should see?

Inception might be one of my all time favorite movies. It's from 2010 so you might have seen it already, if not, go get it now. I can't seem to find any newer films that I like but if I do, I'll let you know. :)

Tip of the week:

Funny sh*t:

An inspirational Wednesday quote:
Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you fall into an open sewer and die.
~ Mel Brooks

Freaking YouTube:

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