Wednesday, June 25, 2014

News and Such Things

Dear Blog Friends,

I know I've been rather sparse lately in the whole posting-stuff-region, but I have a good reason. I've been really busy. Like, super crazy busy even for me. That paltry excuse said, I do have some good news to share.

I'm engaged! *cue cheering* 

The Boyfriend finally proposed and we're very happy. He has now been renamed The Fiancé. Hope I did that accento mark right....

Anyway, that's not the only news! I'm currently working as an Editorial Intern (which is a confusing title because technically I'm not getting paid, hence Intern, but I'm getting all of the credit of an Editor) at a local independent called Negative Capability Press, located here in Mobile, AL. My mentor is the great poet (and former Poet Laureate of Alabama) Dr. Sue Brannan Walker. I'm learning so much about publishing that I can barely hold all of this new information, and the great thing is, I'm doing a directed studies class titled Publishing and Editing with her in the Fall so the fun will just continue. In addition to that, she is also my creative thesis mentor, so that means I'll be spending more time with her in the next year working on my, you guessed it, creative thesis!

Due to my current sharing mood, here is the premise:
 Found wandering the Grymm Forest at age five and raised by a roving band of gypsies, Eurydice and her chatty sidekick Harly—a scholar turned mule—navigate the criminal underbelly of the Twin Kingdom as assassins for justice. Now seventeen, Eury’s loyalty to justice is tested when she comes face to face with an enemy that she never imagined: her past. Not knowing whom to trust, other than Harly, Eury must discover her origins, save a vagabond prince from almost certain death, and prevent a terrible curse from spreading beyond the Grymm Forest—a place she never anticipated returning, much less remembers having left. Magic, murder, and mayhem abound in this tale about identity and crafting the perfect arrow for every occasion. May the Grymm Fighter watch over us all

By Spring this will be a full-fledged (haha it's punny because the title is Fledgling) novel and I have plans for a trilogy. I'm so excited!  

In order to keep the good news train rolling, here is my final bit of fun! My good friend Kelsey Sutton (whom I've posted about several times) has just won a Gold IPPY for her debut novel Some Quiet Place! More cheers! And Stephen Colbert dancing!

Well, that's all folks! Just look at him dance. Go Stephen, go Stephen, go Stephen!

Until next time...

Friday, June 6, 2014

Review: THE CAMELOT CODE by Mari Mancusi

Courtesy Goodreads
The Camelot Code
by Mari Mancusi
Author site

Goodreads summary:
All fourteen-year-old gamer girl Sophie Sawyer wants to do is defeat Morgan Le Fay in her favorite Arthurian videogame. She has no idea the secret code sent via text message is actually a magical spell that will send her back in time to meet up with a real life King Arthur instead. 

Of course Arthur's not king yet--he hasn't pulled the sword from the stone--and he has no idea of his illustrious destiny. And when a twist of fate sends him forward in time--to modern day high school--history is suddenly in jeopardy. Even more so when Arthur Googles himself and realizes what lies in store for him if he returns to his own time--and decides he'd rather try out for the football team instead. 

Now Sophie and her best friend Stuart find themselves in a race against time--forced to use their 21st century wits to keep history on track, battle a real-life version of their favorite videogame villain, and get the once and future king back where he belongs. Or the world, as they know it, may no longer exist.
The Camelot Code is available in e-book and paperback through Amazon or B&N.    I received a digital copy from the lovely Mari herself and what follows is my honest to goodness review.

As an avid gamer, like the protagonist Sophie Sawyer, I enjoy hacking away at my enemies or casting spells to save the day. It's a wonderful escape from reality. However, if I suddenly found myself sucked back in time to the land of Skyrim, where dragons molested towns and the dead walked as skeletons in crypts, I might actually pass out from the sheer terror of it.

Sophie's handling of the situation is somewhat more along the lines of what I would wish to accomplish. She takes the event in stride and does her best to make things right, no matter how crazy they seem to get as the story goes along. As the Goodreads summary adequately explains, this historical, magical time swap is a romp in the park of fun.

I honestly had a blast reading this book. It's not what I typically read these days; I'm more of a darker YA reader/fantasy fan, but the lighthearted humor mixed with friendship and camaraderie as these friends embark on an adventure to save the world is exactly what kids these days need to read. There is just enough romance for the budding teen to giggle over, but not so much as to make it cross that boundary between middle grade and definitive YA territory.

As a 23-year-old graduate student majoring in creative writing, I found The Camelot Code to not only be enjoyable, but also well-written for its target audience, which somehow includes me as well. When I finally finished it I felt giddy like I did when I was twelve. I put down my iPad and simply relished the joy of the story.

Sometimes in this bustling world of books, that feeling is hard to come by. I applaud Mari Mancusi and wish her all the best with her other books (including the Scorched series, which I also now plan to read).

Until next time...