Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Descendants

The Descendants

I watched this movie yesterday. And I learned it was also a book. The story was amazing, I love movies with so much feeling and emotion. I admit I even cried a few times. I have been a fan of Shailene Woodley since I started watching Secret life of an American Teenager, she is a great actor.

For those who don't know about the movie, its a wonderful story about a family trying to cope with the death of their Wife and mother. She was on a boat and hit her head, and is in a coma. Soon her husband is told there is no hope for her and she is going to die. He has to come to terms with it, but everything gets worse when he is told by his oldest daughter that she was cheating on him.

For me this was just crazy, your wife is dying, you feel bad for not spending enough time with her, you plan on making up for all of that when she wakes up and then you find out she is never going to wake up. And she cheated on you.

Clooney did a great job, I believed his anger, his sadness, his grief. It was a beautiful story and movie and I think everyone should see it.

The Descendants

Get the movie!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Review of Fifty Shades Darker

Fifty Shades Darker by El James

Alright, so I finished the second in El James' series. There were a lot of things I liked and some I didn't. The book in general was great because I got to see the change Christian made, and it was the way I would have wanted him to. In fifty shades darker you see that he isn't at all dark like you thought in the first story.

I love that chapter by chapter he let go of all his demons and really dove head first into life. It was a beautiful thing.

The ending was at first confusing, but then I was like holy sh%#!! This might have changed my mind about the next book (which I wasn't sure if I would read).

I will say the author did an amazing job at creating such a character as Christian Grey. I really would like to see someone try and outdo him; I don't think it’s possible. And I honestly hope nobody tries. There is just something about Grey that is unlike anyone I have ever read about and will ever read about. He might be my favorite fictional character because I love how dysfunctional he is.

As for Ana, well, she is annoying most times. I see that she loves him and is caring, but she also is overly stubborn and just has me shaking my head a lot. Some of the things she does or thinks are just over the top. She is either really smart or really stupid about life. I guess they level each other out though.

My only gripe about the writing is the overuse of the word salacious and a few others, and also the inner goddess. I am hoping she packed it up and isn't around in book three. There are only so many times I can handle a description of an imaginary part of a book. I could have learned everything I needed to learn about Ana through Ana, I don't think it was essential to use this "inner goddess" to get the point across all the time.

I think the second book will not disappoint readers. It was even more exciting than the first. It had a lot of great things going on. The last gripe I will mention is the amount of sex; I understand this is what the book is, and what drives a lot of readers wild about it. But at one point, I just felt like it was the same song and dance time and time again. I get that they both are into each other, but it would have been nice to see more to the story then how many ways he can bang Ana.

If you’re looking for a steamy novel with a romantic side as well as one hell of a story and characters, then don't be a wuss and read these books. Its graphic and not for everyone, but I think if you give it a try you will understand its wonderful and less taboo then everyone makes it seem.

If I come off picky with book two, well that’s because I was, I have a hard time reading anything if it doesn't do what I want it to, but that doesn't take away from the fact El James has created a great set of books that I am proud to have read as well as so many others. Great job!

Grab a copy!! Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades Darker, Fifty Shades Freed

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Passion, Romance, Intrigue... Forbidden

Last month a friend of mine started reading this book and she kept raving about it. “You have to read this, Brandi” she insisted, and so I agreed. She sent me a copy and I cracked it open, not at all aware of what I was getting into. I don’t pay attention to genres, and I certainly don’t read reviews to determine if I want to read a book or not. I read a description and make a judgment call, because really, like every new relationship, I think a book needs to be approached without bias. How else will a “bad book” ever get a fair shake? 

So, as I start reading I am making mental notes. Not the greatest of writing, pretty basic really, but it has something. So I keep reading. I tell myself, this girl is kind of silly, but her inner monologue is getting tiresome, but it still has something, and I keep reading. Enter the closed off, mysterious male, and I am sitting forward in my seat. Definitely has something. Sprinkle in some humor and embarrassing situations, and I am hooked. Before I know it, I have hit the last page and I am thinking, well, darn! Where’s the rest? I immediately tracked down copies of the final two in this trilogy and it has been in the back of my mind ever since. 

The book I am talking about is Fifty Shades of Grey by E L James. 

By now it is no secret that this book is taking the world by storm. Gracing headlines everywhere, Fifty Shades has worked its way into the homes and lives of housewives around the world and opened their eyes to something that was previously a no-no, and told them all “It’s okay to like this sort of thing.” The reason it is the shocker that it is can probably be contributed to the fact that for centuries society has pigeonholed women into the role of wife, mother, and homemaker, and never given them permission to be the sexual creatures they were made to be. Men can be forward with sex, it’s to be expected even. For women, when the topic of sex hits the table, it is usually hushed and secretive. When others find out we’re talking about it--and enjoying it!--it suddenly becomes a sensation. 

When did “sex” become a dirty word? 

Fifty Shades of Grey tickled something in my brain that I had been denying for a long time. For me, it was like a breath of fresh air, an opening of windows and doors after a winter of being cooped up inside to let in the fresh, crisp springtime air. I finally realized that sex is okay to talk about, to think about, and especially, to crave. Women everywhere are saying that this book translated to the bedroom and has rekindled their love lives, and I will admit to the same. There is nothing taboo in this book. Everything is touched on and explored and if you were previously inclined to feel embarrassed by any of the roads Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele ventured down, you won’t be after you finish this series. 

As a fair warning to anyone considering this trilogy: It’s not for everyone. You’ll either love it, or hate it. You have to keep an open mind and be ready for anything. Realize that, although these books have a strong sexual base, they also have a glorious story in between—this is what really hooked me! Consider it a romance novel, but the heat level has been turned up…to scorching. 

If you’re ready to open your mind and explore a world of forbidden pleasure, check out Fifty Shades of Grey. 
It's well worth the read.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The New Kindlegraph!

Everyone likes that feeling of awe and warmth that follows having stood in line for hours, your feet aching, your nerves shot, all so you could meet your favorite author and have their signature grace the inside of your book.

The biggest downfall of ebooks: you don't get to join in any of the fun!

Well, that stops now. I found this pretty cool feature that is now being offered to people who have ebooks. It's called Kindlegraph. This is the latest in forward thinking developments, in my humble opinion. Now anyone who writes or has written books can sign up and make their work available to the world. Even better, people the world over can get signatures from their favorite authors! This includes indies folks! If you write it, you can sign it.

Now, depending on the type of pc you have, you will either be doodling your name with your finger or your clicker (mouse), and unless you are highly skilled, it will probably come out as some illegible mess of nonsense better suited to a preschool art project, but it's still pretty cool. If you want to leave a little heartfelt message to your reader, you can do that too! Thankfully, this feature is offered in a very legible cursive, so no confusion there.

Currently, there are over 13,000 books available by 3,000 authors. I am positive as this feature takes off, those numbers will soar. Join up via your Twitter account. If you're an indie author, get your books cataloged. If you're an avid reader who loves your author of choice to a stalker-like level and just can't live until they have touched your book in some way, then dash over and request that signature! And since Holly and I welcome stalkers openly, here are the links to our books to get you started.

Happy stalking!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Should young adult books explore difficult issues?

To read or not to read

After reading an article about young adult books I thought I would share my own opinion. I write young adult books. Not because I want to, its more that's the characters I find relatable in my style of writing. There have been times in my own writing where I wondered if my work was even considered YA. I really had to research other people's books to see if Ink for example fell into that genre given its content. And my conclusion is yes, it does. Do I think people under 16 should read Ink? Well, if it were my kids no, I have been told 16 is the appropriate age for this kind of story, but I am going to go as far as to say 18. When your 18 your considered an adult, you can read what you want then.
To me, young adult is a story with a young adult, a kid in school dealing with life issues for example. And life issues aren't all rosy and squeaky clean. And those out there who act so shocked by some content in these books really need to take a step back and see that its not just teens dying to get their hand on YA books, adults over 20 and 30 and beyond read these books.
I think its good to address difficult issues in these books. If that's what you want to write about as an author go for it. If someone doesn't want to read it because its to much then its simple--don't read it.
Books are for enjoyment and I believe some people think to far into things. Nobody forces you to read a book, its your right.
As long as the book gives a fair warning of what is inside, difficult issues can be discussed, heck, someone might learn something. There is always going to be some idiot out there trying to convey the wrong message, but its our job as parents and as humans to steer clear of this.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Author Interview with Peter Hindley

Author Interview with Peter Hindley

Fictitious Chronicles had the pleasure of interviewing author, Peter Hindley. He is one of the authors of the book: The Perfect Crime a story of truth or fantasy.

We asked Peter to tell us a little about himself and this is what he had to say:

I was born in Kent, England and spent my formative years living on the outskirts of London.

Now I am pleased to say that my home is here in France surrounded by new and true friends who have accepted me and taught me so much about the priorities in life; and I am very blessed to be living in an area that I have grown to love. I am home at last.

Five years ago I had the chance to leave the UK and start a new life in Southern France, this was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I bought a house just outside a quiet village and although I had planned to live a quiet life; events took over and now I seldom have time to catch up.

When I moved here my intention was to walk to the village to buy bread, shut the gates and quietly write. But that tranquil life never happened; something far better did.

I started a dance class in the village as a ‘thank you’ for the welcome the people here have given me but certain parties created problems so I decided to stop that and now just coach a couple who compete in Ballroom dance competitions. This has resulted in me visiting many places in France and Spain as an observer and jury member of competitions, and gaining many more friends in both countries.

Do you have a full time job? I will answer, tongue in cheek: ‘No, I do not have time for such luxuries’, or alternatively ‘give me a break, there are not enough hours in the day, or days in the week, as it is.’

When did you first start writing the book?

It was in March 2002, my brother died in unconventional circumstances, namely 4 or more places within his home and what followed did not conform to the normal in so many ways. That was when I started to record everything that followed that was linked to his death. Did he die naturally or was he helped in some way in unclear: Even today as I write this I have still not discovered what happened to him around the time of his death. Two or three people certainly do know the truth, but for whatever their reasons, they remain silent regarding what really happened that day in the spring of 2002.

The story develops into a complex journey of discovery and a far reaching exposé (we do name and shame) within the United Kingdom.

If this all sounds very heavy and dull you would be mistaken because although the various subjects included may be serious, I have deliberately added pieces which should make the reader laugh. There are mentions of the paranormal. There are also many questions asked of the reader so they too become part of the journey; they become the detective. The result of this is that I have been frequently told “The Perfect Crime …” is a compelling read.

Last year we gained a piece of information which was the perfect ending for this book and we did manage to finish this book and it was published last October. You will notice that I use ‘we’ in the previous sentence because my co-author and niece, Susan Goodsell, has in recent years, contributed to the creation of this book: It must be said that we work remarkably well together.

Our story did not end on page 293 of “The Perfect Crime….” so now the sequel has been started. Work on that continues as time allows because now there is the promotion of published book to add to my lengthening ‘to do’ list.

Do I you experience writer’s block?

Perhaps yes, but when it feels right to put words on paper they flow readily; I just use the technique I use for everything in my life: I follow my intuition knowing that if I do not, things go very wrong.

Is there an author who has influenced you?

An author no, but I enjoy words. I had an uncle who was extremely precise in his diction and use of the English language; one of his most frequent questions was “What exactly do you mean by that Peter?” He would use it whenever there was even the slightest ambiguity. Then one day I asked him the same question, that made him collapse with laughter; it must have been a first time he had someone asked that question of him.

Is there an author you would particularly like to meet?

It would be the true crime writer Gary C King, simply because since publishing the book we have met and communicated via the internet and he now feels like a genuine friend.

Are there any authors that have grabbed your interest recently?

Several have but one which I found particularly interesting was Lynne McTaggart and her book “The Bond” as it contains many concepts which could change the way we look at the world around us.

Who designed the book cover?

Nicole Kuhn; it was organised by the publishers and I think Nicole did a splendid job: It captures something of the essence of the book. To be honest when I first saw the cover I was very surprised and it shocked me to my core, but now I feel it is superb, it could not be better.

Do you have advice to give to other writers?

Here I would give the same answer no matter what subject I was asked about, that is: Do what feels right for you. Remember that any form of copying dilutes and degrades, so be yourself and be original.

Hot news: the book is being translated into French.

A look at the book:


Events have accurately been recorded since the time of Alan’s death; they combine to reveal an intriguing story. Did he die naturally or was he helped in some way? Has a crime or two taken place? Some may think so. Maybe there is a conspiracy. If so, how far it may extend is unclear. Nothing is quite as it should be.

This unique book evolves from a simple account to a vast scandalous exposé, a true and topical account showing a fascinating view of human nature, society, and the establishment in the United Kingdom. Many questions are posed for the reader and evidence is laid bare as you take a journey of discovery.

The story and writing style changes drastically as the twists and turns in the narrative expose themselves. Ultimately it reaches a logical end, but that is not the end of the story. A sequel is already underway.

“The Perfect Crime a story of truth or fantasy” by Peter Hindley & Susan Goodsell





Available via RoseDog Books, Amazon and elsewhere

Available as paperback and Kindle etc.