Monday, November 30, 2015

Book Club Discussion Questions for Vessel

I recently crafted a short list of discussion questions about Vessel that are suitable for book clubs, book reviewers,  bloggers, and anyone else who likes to think about and/or discuss fiction. These are only to get the conversation started, but here’s what I’ve got:

1.   A catastrophic solar storm destroyed all electrical devices on Earth in Vessel. Do you think the human race could survive such an event? How?
2. In the future world of Vessel, Alana is a slave. We know slavery has been around for a long time and is still going on today. Could slavery ever be eradicated or is it part of the human condition forever?

3. Kinder behaves in strange ways throughout the story of Vessel. Do you believe his motives are benevolent or malevolent?

4. In Vessel, the Reticents “teach” their students by implanting a microchip in their brains and downloading information. Do you think such a thing might be possible one day? Why or why not?

5. Recks asks Alana at one point in the story where she wants to live. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?

6. What do you think happens in the sequel to Vessel?

Obviously, there’s no right or wrong answer to these questions. They’re meant to spark discussion, but I’ll give you my take on the answers.

1. Since I wrote the book, it’s probably already clear I think there’s a chance humans could survive a solar storm, but I think life would return to more of a hunting and gathering lifestyle. Things we take for granted, like modern medicine and life-saving drugs, would disappear. As a result, a lot of us would perish. There are many places that would be difficult to live without a reliable power source in the winter, which might favor people living closer to the equator. I also think its possible small pockets of humans could survive in very different regions, totally isolated and unaware of each other.

2. Regarding slavery, it seems like it’s been around in one form or another for a very long time. I wish I could say it could be eradicated, but it’s hard to see how.

3. Kinder was a fun character to write for several reasons. You never quite know what he’s up to or if he’s even a threat at all. He’s not 100% honest with anyone in the book.

4. Implanting a memory chip in your brain would be handy, don’t you think? Seems like it would be impossible, but scientists are already implanting electrodes in people to help stimulate paralysis victims’ muscles. I’ve even heard of studies where electrodes have been used to stimulate the brain to improve cognitive ability. I’d say anything is possible where human ingenuity is involved.

5. If I could live anywhere at all and money was no object, it would be on a beach, preferable a warm one with lots of tide pools, colorful fish, and gorgeous sunsets.

6. The story definitely continues after the events of Vessel, but that’s all I’ve got to say about that!

If you haven't read Vessel yet, you can find it on Amazon~

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Giving thanks~

It's been a crazy-busy year for me with lots of good happenings, but with set backs too.

My family and I were able to travel this year and had a lovely time.  My garden suffered terribly due to voles and rabbits. It produced almost nothing.

I worked very hard on publishing and writing this year - Vessel was published by a small press, and I self-published The Color of Water and a print version of Storyteller.  I also finished writing two new books and a rough draft of a third. I've queried far and wide, but no takers so far.

I've seen friends get married, welcome new babies, and say goodbye to loved ones forever this year. I've seen things in the news on television/radio/social media that make me question the sanity of the human race sometimes. It's troubling, but that's life. Change comes to all things and all beings. It's not necessarily good or bad; it just is.

Autumn is a natural time of change and it seems fitting that we take this time to think of the good in our lives and to give thanks for it. I wish you a season of love, the warmth of home and family, and above all, peace in your heart and in the world~

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Fantastical thinking~

I've been reading a high fantasy novel series lately. While I'm enjoying it, I'm struck by the amount of killing in it. The protagonist is a fifteen year old girl, but she acts like an adult so it bascially reads like adult fantasy.

The story actually jumps around several characters' points of view, all of whom are involved in life threatening situations that require fighting and lots of killing. One of the characters is a professional assassin that's apparently killed hundreds of men and continues to do so in these books. And of course, there are large battle scenes described in great detail, which again result in lots of deaths. 

Maybe I'm just not accustom to this kind of fantasy, but the level of killing is getting a little distracting and I find myself skimming past the chapters that describe the battles. They really aren't developing any characters anyway. Is it just me that finds all the battling and descriptions of killing a thousand different ways a bit dull after awhile?

What kind of fantasy do you like to read? Is the gore a necessary element? Does it come from the video game/role playing realm? I'd really like to know.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Claire Daly: Reluctant Soul Saver by Michele Brouder ~ Blog Tour

Welcome to my stop on the Reluctant Soul Saver Blog Tour!
Please read on down the page to learn more about the book and the author~

~About the Book~

Claire Daly: Reluctant Soul Saver by Michele Brouder
Publication Date: September 2015
Genre: YA, Paranormal Romance

When seventeen year-old librarian wannabe Claire Daly is dragged kicking, screaming and cursing from everything she loves—her mam, her cozy Irish village and the dreamy boy next door—to take up arms in the battle of good versus evil, she learns the hard way that sometimes you don’t get to choose your own destiny, destiny chooses you.

Claire’s life plan is simple: head off to university to get her degree in library studies, summon up the courage to tell her best friend Chas that she loves him and live happily ever after. She never once entertained the idea that she might possess divine powers, that she might be predestined to battle Hell’s demons, or, to complicate matters further, that another love of many lives past might turn up on her doorstep. But life doesn’t always go as planned, and when a co-worker is viciously attacked by a demon and her own family threatened, Claire must face the truth: she is called to a higher purpose and has no choice but to answer. Claire sets aside her dreams and begins learning how to deal with the Unholy once and for all. Armed with only a crash course in soul saving and her wits, she gears up for the ultimate show down in Hell. But will it be enough?

Find Claire Daly on Goodreads~

Purchase Links:
BAM | Amazon | B&N | TBD

Don't miss the .99 Countdown Deal on Amazon from Nov. 12-19!

~About the Author~

I was born in western New York, the oldest of 5. I've loved reading since I was very little. From the age of 9, I've wanted to be a writer. In high school, I wrote a lot of angst-ridden civil war dramas ala Gone With The Wind, knowing more about the Battle of the Bull Run than a normal teenager should know. I dabbled in writing after that but didn't get serious about it until 2006, when I decided that this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
I've had many interesting jobs but my passion has always been writing.
I lived in Ireland from 2006-2013 with my husband and 2 boys. We moved back to the US and settled in Florida briefly (2 years) before returning back to Ireland in August 2015.

Connect with the Author:  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest

Enter the giveaway!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway Information: Contest ends December 4, 2015
· One (1) winner will received a $25 Amazon Gift Card, a copy of Claire Daly: Reluctant Soul Saver, a book mark, a coffee mug, and some other stuff for 'readers' from the author (INT)
· Three (3) winners will receive a copy of Claire Daly: Reluctant Soul Saver by Michele Brouder (INT)

~Author Guest Post~

I asked Claire to tell us a bit about what inspired her book. This is what she said:

There was so much 'superhero' fiction out there- Harry Potter, Percy Jackson series, Skulduggery Pleasant to name a few. I suppose I was reading all of these books because of my son, who wouldn't have particularly been drawn to a girl (yuck) series. I started thinking about how I wanted to read about a girl with her own set of superpowers and I wanted her to be Irish (after all, it is where I live, it was my way of saying thank you to my adopted homeland). I wanted to read something along those lines.
· the main theme of good vs. evil on all levels, the battle within ourselves to do what is right even if it means sacrificing something that is important to us and of course the ongoing of good vs. evil on a much bigger scale

· faith - how faith can grow where there is none and how it can shine in a very dark hour

· loyalty - to the people we love: family & friends

· how you can make a connection with some people and it makes you feel like you've known them since before forever

· how humor can be it's own weapon: to protect yourself and to disarm other people