Rising: Resistance (and a giveaway!)

Rising: Resistance
by Laura Josephsen
All Alphonse wants is a quiet summer at home before his final months at university. What he gets is a half-dead stranger on his doorstep and the task of delivering a package to the leader of his home country. Not long after he boards a train toward the capital, he’s attacked by knights, elite soldiers of the neighboring king.
Alphonse is temporarily rescued by Mairwyn, a mechanic with a haunted past and a deep hatred of knights. Together, they attempt to carry out Alphonse’s urgent errand, only to learn that if they fail, countless people will die.
And even if they succeed, they may not be able to prevent the war that lurks on the horizon.

I don’t even remember, now, how I first stumbled on Laura’s blog. I think maybe she had left a comment on Patricia C Wrede’s blog that caught my eye? (Was that you, Laura, or am I thinking of someone else?)

At any rate, when her book Confessions of the Underworld (Otherwise Known as High School) came out, I eagerly bought it, and loved it. So when she offered me the chance to read an advance copy of Rising: Resistance, I didn’t hesitate, already trusting her writing enough to know it would be good.

And it was. It was nothing at all like Confessions, even aside from the difference in genres. But it was so, so good in its own right, standing on its own merits. It certainly wasn’t a light read; while there was a great deal of humor in it, it also tackled some pretty weighty stuff. Laura has talked on her blog about the difficulty of putting her characters through dark places, and after reading Resistance, I understand a little better. The important thing is, though, that her characters grow through these hard times, and even though the reader gets put through the wringer right along with them, we get to grow and develop, too.


And that’s what makes a book truly stand out from the crowd, isn’t it? When you, the reader, get to become a little bit of a better person, a more whole person, just by reading it. And that doesn’t always happen just through tragedy – goodness knows many of the comedic books I’ve read have suddenly stretched me here and there before I know it. Any book that makes you care more about other human beings, about searching out deeper truths and living for something beyond yourself, is a great book.


Which is why I’m offering a giveaway (my first ever giveaway on this blog!) of an e-book edition of Rising: Resistance to one reader. Just leave a comment with a valid email address by 12:00am EST next Tuesday (March 7th), and I will randomly pick one commenter to win it. That’s it! No hoops to jump through – no requirements to follow this blog, Tweet about this giveaway, or anything like that (though, of course, if you want to do any of those things, I won’t stand in your way).


Good luck, and happy reading!



Should you not win the giveaway, you can buy Rising: Resistance by following any of these links:


or check it out at

Transition

I’m usually not good at transitions – you know, the “they walked through the woods for days. Then the adventure started again” type of phrases. I always feel like I have to fill in every detail, or I’m cheating.

But I’m getting better, and since I had to cover a four-year gap in the middle of a chapter of my Celtic MG/YA, I really needed to be concise.

This right here is quite possibly my favorite out of all the transition phrases I’ve ever written:

Life continued to be mildly not-fair for the next four years, at which point it took, in Cadi’s opinion anyway, a flying leap into monstrously unfair.

I’m not sure if I’ll actually keep it in the final draft or if I’ll end up editing it out due to it having a slightly different tone than the rest of the chapter – but for now, I’m just quite tickled over it.

How do you handle transitions?

Announcing RISING

RISING


by Laura Josephsen

All Alphonse wants is a quiet summer at home before his final months at university. What he gets is a half-dead stranger on his doorstep and the task of delivering a package to the leader of his home country. Not long after he boards a train toward the capital, he’s attacked by knights, elite soldiers of the neighboring king. Alphonse is temporarily rescued by Mairwyn, a mechanic with a haunted past and a deep hatred of knights. Together, they attempt to carry out Alphonse’s urgent errand, only to learn that if they fail, countless people will die. And even if they succeed, they may not be able to prevent the war that lurks on the horizon.

I am so excited to let you all know about this book! Laura sent me an early copy to review, and I loved it. Tore through it in two days, reading while I was fixing supper, when I was supposed to be doing school with Joy, and so on. I just couldn’t put it down.


I’m going to be doing a proper review next week – stay tuned for that – but I want to let you all know now that Rising is being released TODAY. Go forth and buy – you won’t be disappointed!


Rising on Amazon Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Rising-Book-1-Resistance-ebook/dp/B0079DJ3HC/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1329351740&sr=8-4

Rising on Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/rising-book-1-laura-josephsen/1038667187?ean=2940013930056

Rising on Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/132824

Rising on Amazon paperback: http://www.amazon.com/Rising-Book-1-Resistance/dp/1469904357/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1329773440&sr=1-4

Rituals

As Carl and I prepared our second pot of loose-leaf tea this morning, we started talking about how drinking tea really does help one get through the winter, which led me to musing about how it is the ritual involved in making tea (especially loose-leaf) that helps as much or even more than simply drinking a hot beverage.

Which led me to thinking about rituals in general, and how useful they are, and how in our quest to make life easier for ourselves, we have lost so many rituals that have helped us see and touch on the deeper meaning in life.

Tea, for one – the act of measuring the tea leaves, warming the pot, heating the water to the proper temperature, steeping for the prescribed time (and if you are fortunate enough to have a clear pot, watching the leaves expand as they steep), and then pouring the tea into your cup is far more work, true, than dunking a tea bag in a cup of hot water, but the reward is so much greater.

Or cooking. Yes, it’s easier and quicker (and times when it’s all one can do) to tear open bags of frozen vegetables and frozen chicken, dump it all into a pot with canned tomato sauce and a can of chicken broth, but I know from experience that it is so much more satisfying to chop fresh vegetables myself, adding them to the pot one at a time, slice up the meat that I cooked myself, use fresh tomatoes instead of canned sauce, and my own chicken stock. The ritual of preparing the food myself adds a depth of flavor that cannot come from anything else.

And I do realize that sometimes – often – it’s all one can do to do it the easy, quick way. Hey, I keep frozen vegetables in my freezer, tea bags in my cupboard. But if one can make something a ritual, by all means, do so.

I think that applies to writing, as well. I have one story I am attempting to write out longhand. It’s driving me distracted. My fingers (and wrists) have been long accustomed to typing: re-training them for long stretches of handwriting is torture. It takes longer, too – and to be perfectly honest, I just don’t have that time right now for writing all my stories by hand, first, and then typing them up. So I use the computer for most of my stories, saving only one out for writing by hand. I also keep a journal, so that by choosing (out of necessity) the quicker, easier, more practical path for writing, I don’t lose entirely the beauty of the ritual of pen scratching, ink flowing onto paper, hand creating what my mind sees, slowing down and enjoying the act of writing, as well as the result.