Thursday Writing Quotes ~ Brown

Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears. ~ Les Brown

Tuesday Teaser/Opening ~ Fooling Houdini

This week I'm reading Fooling Houdini: Magicians, Mentalists, Math Geeks, and the Hidden Powers of the Mind by Alex Stone. I thought it looked interesting and might make good research (one has to feed the muse, but one is never sure what she'll like.) It's not quite what I expected, but I'm enjoying it nonetheless.


Blurb:
From the back rooms of New York City’s age-old magic societies to cutting-edge psychology labs, three-card monte games on Canal Street to glossy Las Vegas casinos, Fooling Houdini recounts Alex Stone’s quest to join the ranks of master magicians.

As he navigates this quirky and occasionally hilarious subculture populated by brilliant eccentrics, Stone pulls back the curtain on a community shrouded in secrecy, fueled by obsession and brilliance, and organized around one overriding need: to prove one’s worth by deceiving others.

But his journey is more than a tale of tricks, gigs, and geeks. By investing some of the lesser-known corners of psychology, neuroscience, physics, history, and even crime, all through the lens of trickery and illusion, Fooling Houdini arrives at a host of startling revelations about how the mind works--and why, sometimes, it doesn’t.

Opening:
In the foyer of a hotel in downtown Stockholm, a stunning twenty-two-year-old Belgian girl with dark brown eyes and long chestnut curls had attracted a small crowd. She held an ace in each hand, and as she twirled her arms through the air, the cards transformed into kings. The audience had seen this sort of thing before--they weren't the kind of people who would go wild for a single change. But then, in one fluid sequence, she coiled her wrists again and the kings became queens. The energy in the room quickened as her arms snaked through the air like a flamenco dancer's--once, twice--and the quieens faded into jacks, then tens. the people around her began to cheer. Another whirl and the tens turned into jokers. She is one of the only magicians in the world who can pull off five transformations in a row, and the audience was now crazy for her.

Teaser:
They* regard magic tricks as being like quantum states—destroyed by the very act of examining them up close. Magicians trumpet the secrecy of their art, almost daring the viewer to lift the veil, and yet they are furious when someone actually does.

*Magicians

Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: Grab your current readOpen to a random pageShare two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page. BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! To see what others are sharing on the Teaser Tuesdays, check the comments at: http://adailyrhythm.com/





Share the first paragraph (or a few) from a book you are reading. Here's the link: Bibliophile By The Sea

Tuesday Teaser ~ X

Okay, I'm reading X (A Kinsey Millhone Novel) by Sue Grafton. I'm not actually sure why since I've grown tired of Grafton's writing style. Her protagonist never simply "makes coffee." She spends an entire paragraph detailing every moment of the coffee making process. And she goes into this sort of detail again and again for no good reason. The only reason I have for reading this is that once you've read 20+ books of a 26 book series, you kind of feel obligated to read the rest.

Please note: I pulled the blurb from Amazon, but I don't have a clue what book they think they published because I'm pretty far in and nowhere in the story is there any sign of a serial killer.


Blurb:
Sue Grafton’s X: Perhaps her darkest and most chilling novel, it features a remorseless serial killer who leaves no trace of his crimes. Once again breaking the rules and establishing new paths, Grafton wastes little time identifying this sociopath. The test is whether Kinsey can prove her case against him before she becomes his next victim.

Opening:
Teddy Xankis would have to steal the painting. What other choice did she have? She believed it was a Turner--a possibility she couldn't confirm unless she shipped it tot the Tate in London, where the Turner scholars, Evelyn Joll and Martin Butlin in particular, could make a judgment about its authenticity. Unfortunately, the paining was currently in the basement of the house that was now solely in Ari's name, where it had sat for years, unrecognized and unappreciated. She might have blamed herself for the oversight, but why on earth would anyone expect to find a priceless painting in such homely company.

Teaser:
My name is Kinsey Millhone. I'm a private detective by trade, doing business as Millhone investigations. I'm female, thirty-eight years old, twice divorced, and childless, a status I maintain with rigorous attention to my birth control pills.

Frankly, unless you're a hard core mystery buff, I don't recommend this series.

Please, God, let it be over soon.

Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: Grab your current readOpen to a random pageShare two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page. BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! To see what others are sharing on the Teaser Tuesdays, check the comments at: http://adailyrhythm.com/




Share the first paragraph (or a few) from a book you are reading. Here's the link: Bibliophile By The Sea

Thursday Writing Quotes ~ O'Connor

Every morning between 9 and 12, I go to my room and sit before a piece of paper. Many times, I just sit for three hours with no ideas coming to me. But I know one thing. If an idea does come between 9 and 12, I am there ready for it. ~ Flannery O'Connor



Tuesday Teaser/Opening ~ The Harrowing

Halloween's coming, so it seemed like a good time to reread The Harrowing (A Ghost Story) by Alexandra Sokoloff. The author has moved on to writing romantic suspense, but I like her early books, and this, her first, is my favorite.

Blurb:
Baird College's Mendenhall echoes with the footsteps of the last home-bound students heading off for Thanksgiving break, and Robin Stone swears she can feel the creepy, hundred-year-old residence hall breathe a sigh of relief for its long-awaited solitude. Or perhaps it's only gathering itself for the coming weekend.

As a massive storm dumps rain on the isolated campus, four other lonely students reveal themselves: Patrick, a handsome jock; Lisa, a manipulative tease; Cain, a brooding musician; and finally Martin, a scholarly eccentric. Each has forsaken a long weekend at home for their own secret reasons.

The five unlikely companions establish a tentative rapport, but they soon become aware of a sixth presence disturbing the ominous silence that pervades the building. Are they the victims of a simple college prank taken way too far, or is the unusual energy evidence of something genuine---and intent on using the five students for its own terrifying ends? It's only Thursday afternoon, and they have three long days and dark nights before the rest of the world returns to find out what's become of them. But for now it's just the darkness keeping company with five students nobody wants and no one will miss.

The Opening:
   It had been raining since possibly the beginning of time.
   In the top tier of the cavernous psychology hall, Robin Stone had long since given up on the lecture. She sat hunched on her seat, staring out arched windows at the downpour, feeling dreamily disconnected from the elemental violence outside, despite the fact that every few minutes the wind shook the building hard enough to rattle the glass of the windowpanes.

The Teaser:
In the pitch-black of Lisa's room, the girls slept, crashed out on opposite sides of the wide bed. But there was something else there, not asleep.

Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: Grab your current readOpen to a random pageShare two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page. BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! To see what others are sharing on the Teaser Tuesdays, check the comments at: http://adailyrhythm.com/




Share the first paragraph (or a few) from a book you are reading. Here's the link: Bibliophile By The Sea

Your Name in a Book

I'm a huge Harlan Coben fan.

I'm always pleased to see something new coming out from him, I took note when I saw his next book Fool Me Once will be out March 22, 2016, but there's something else about this book that caught my eye.

Harlan and his publisher are offering fans the chance to become a character in his next book (releasing in 2017). How fun is that?


Other authors have done this. I've seen it offered on the condition that the person who wants to be mentioned make a donation to charity. Presumably, a sizable donation. This time,  however, it appears the winner will be chosen at random. All you have to do is submit your email address at http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/c/harlan-coben-sweepstakes before October 20, 2015.

Pretty cool, huh?

Also pretty sly.

Publishers have been criticized for acting as though bookstores are their customers. They've been told they don't know anything about their true customers, the reading public. Indie authors are told their best sales tool is a mailing list. So maybe what's really going on here is Penguin Random House has figured out that a mailing list is a great marketing tool. And they've just figured out a way to capture email addresses that will get a lot of email addresses for their actual customers at virtually no cost.

It's an astute marketing move.

And frankly, I'm jealous. Not so much because they thought of it and I didn't, but because they can be assured of a ton of people signing up because Harlan has a huge fan base, and I'm not sure anyone would even notice if I offered then the chance to have a character named after them.

But wouldn't it be a kick to see a character with your name in a best seller? (Or even a not-so best seller?) What kind of character would you want to be? A sidekick? A walk-on? Or maybe even the villain?

I know I have characters whose names I couldn't change because the character and the name are so tightly woven together and they wouldn't feel right with any other name, but I also have characters whose names are something I basically pulled out of a hat. I could change those. I know too though that I'd be hesitant to use a real person's name as the villain, at least unless I was dead certain the person was okay with it. Still, it's something I'd thought about more than once. I'll probably continue to think about, but I'll also remember the fairly lengthy terms and conditions PRH attached to this offer which makes me worry about the potential liability if someone decided they didn't like the character their name was attached to.

So what do you think about this? As a reader, would you be thrilled to see your name in a book?

And if you're an author, would you consider this type of promotion?

Thursday Writing Quotes ~ Fitzgerald

Cut out all those exclamation marks. An exclamation mark is like laughing at your own joke. ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald