Monthly Archives: July 2010

Shadow Bound by Erin Kellison

Erin Kellison’s debut novel is a dark fantasy about love, death, and the power of obsession. Adam Thorne, wealthy director of the Segue Institute, is obsessed with finding a way to destroy the soul-sucking wraiths that have proliferated in recent years. Adam is driven by his single-minded desire to avenge the deaths of his parents, who were killed in front of him by his brother Jacob, once a successful businessman but now a monstrous wraith. Although the wraiths have grown in number, they remain hidden from society. Adam wants to stop them before the situation builds to an all-out war against humanity.

The key to destroying the wraiths may lie with Talia O’Brien, a graduate student who’s written a dissertation on near-death experiences. Talia’s dissertation mentions the Shadowman, the one figure that Jacob fears. As Adam searches for Talia to invite her to join his research team, the wraiths are also hunting her. Talia knows that she has strange powers that other people don’t have, such as the ability to cloak herself in shadows. Although she’s attracted to Adam, she’s unsure whether she can trust him or whether he’s simply using her to destroy Jacob.

Kellison’s novel excels in many ways: Beautifully written and deftly paced, it presents complex, believable characters and a heart-thumping plot. Impressive world-building balances the shadowy, mysterious realm of the faery (called Twilight) with a recognizable human world. The main plot is packed with action and suspense, and the supporting love story develops its own momentum without taking over. Shadow Bound is a fast, enjoyable read that I didn’t want to put down.

The book ends with a teaser for the sequel, Shadow Fall, which shifts the action to Twilight in a fascinating  twist I didn’t expect. That book is available on July 27, and I’ll definitely be picking up a copy!

Visit Erin Kellison’s website here.

I write like . . .

Have you seen this writer’s meme? I pasted in the first chapter of Deadtown and then, just for good measure, an excerpt from Hellforged. Here’s what I got:

I write like
Stephen King

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

Now if only I could earn like him . . . 🙂

Happy Friday!

Here’s a video to get you dancing your way into the weekend. Enjoy!

I am not a pinball wizard

Yesterday I wrote about the strange feeling of finishing a big push—and for me, the push encompassed several projects and went on for months—to find that nothing currently requires your urgent attention.

Yes, I’ve got things to do, from thinking about how to redesign my website to proposals for new projects to a mountain of laundry, but none of it screams “I should have been done yesterday!” (Okay, maybe the laundry.) Yesterday I looked up from a long period of intense, sustained focus and asked, “So what now?”—and no single thing leaped forward to claim my attention.

My mind feels kinda like the ball in a pinball machine. Deadline pressure was the coiled spring that held the ball in place. When that let go, I ricocheted around from one task to the next to the next, trying to do everything and accomplishing nothing. I’m not usually a list-maker, but I finally had to write up a to-do list and prioritize its items to have any hope of accomplishing anything at all. (What I should have done was taken the day off!)

I admit it—I suck at multitasking. My husband can write a chapter in a technical book while he watches an old movie, answers emails, makes phone calls, and checks the news, all without missing a beat. Not me. I work best when I close my email program and my Web browser and focus on what I’m doing. If I’m working on fiction, that’s the only way I can get deeply enough into my characters’ world to see, hear, and feel their story as it unfolds.  For me, trying to multitask is like having someone stand beside me, poking me every few minutes, saying, “Did you see that new video? Did you read about this important news story? How are you gonna answer that editor’s email? Oh, and maybe your daughter has updated her Facebook status—better check …”

I admire people who can multitask, but I’m not one of them. Figuring that out has made my writing life a whole lot easier.

Catching my breath

Within the past week, I’ve gotten two big projects out the door: a book I co-wrote on Office 2010 (my coauthor covered Excel and Access; I wrote about everything else) and revisions to Hellforged. The Office 2010 book is now at the printer; Hellforged will move on to a copyeditor.

It’s a little disorienting to emerge from a big push and encounter an almost-clear desk. I’ve still got things to do, of course, but I’m not focused on a looming—or missed—deadline. It feels weird for that pressure, which has been constant for weeks, to be suddenly gone.

Somehow, summer arrived. I could’ve sworn it was spring the last time I looked out my window. But now it’s 98 degrees outside and roses and daylilies have replaced the lilacs and daffodils in my neighborhood.

I’ve written some parts of the next book in Vicky’s series, which picks up a couple of weeks after the events of Hellforged, and I want to jump into working on the sequel while those events are still fresh in my mind. I’ve got to write a proposal for another nonfiction book. I want to redo my Web site. There are other work-related tasks waiting for me, as well. But mostly I want to enjoy the summer while it’s here (although I might not venture out of the air conditioning too much until the temperature drops back to the 80s). Sitting on the front porch with my husband in the evenings, sipping a G&T or a glass of wine. Taking some weekend trips.  Listening to outdoor concerts. Taking walks by the lake, sitting in an outdoor cafe, going to a park. I don’t want my next glance out the window to show me that the leaves are already changing. Yes, I’ll move forward and accomplish things in my work, but I’m overdue for a little carpe diem time.

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