The Next Best Thing

This is the first meme I’ve done on this blog, but it seemed like fun and I got tagged (by Larua Wardle) so I decided why not?

What is the working title of your book?

TERRIFYING TORA

Where did the idea for the book come from?

It’s going to sound a little silly, but I work with cash at my day job and sometimes when I turn my back on the customer to get out the cash I can’t help but think ‘Man, it’d be so easy for them to just shot me or something right now‘. I’m generally not a paranoid person and doubt that will ever happen to me, but my mind tends to jump to rather horrific situations from the most mundane tasks. Not out of fear, probably out of the fact that I read/watch a lot of horror/deadly stories.

Anyway, that idea just came alive one day at work. I thought it’d be interesting to have a character that always had horrific thoughts invading her head, thus Tora Kuragawa was born. I wanted a new story to write for NaNo 2012 and the rest of the plot just flowed out after Tora got into my head.

What genre does your book fall under?

YA Paranormal Thriller/Suspense

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

This is really hard for me. I never think about actors/other people when I’m thinking about my characters… So, this question took the longest for me to figure out.

Tora Kuragawa would be a young Aoi Miyazaki (like, Virgin Snow Aoi Miyazaki):

https://i2.wp.com/lh4.ggpht.com/elaing.zhang/RyvlJmzapwI/AAAAAAAAFus/9xWwICpjSlM/s800/005.jpg

The second main character is Delaney Gunvald and I really can’t think of anyone, and after doing some searching, the only one I can think that would sort of work would be a teenager Chris Hemsworth:

https://i2.wp.com/www.aceshowbiz.com/images/wennpic/chris-hemsworth-photocall-the-avengers-01.jpg

Guy would be Logan Lerman, just imagine him constantly having a really bad case of bedhead and then you’d have Guy:

https://i2.wp.com/data.whicdn.com/images/18265452/tumblr_lu9hnqogIA1r5z1b1o1_250_thumb.jpg

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

One sentence…? That’s so hard. Here’s my best go:

As a victim of an unnatural death, sixteen-year-old Tora Kurosawa is stuck in the In-Between and is forced to play the reapers’ game: conquer her death and let go of her life and they’ll let her crossover, fail to do so in seven days and she’ll be banished to the Netherworld for an eternity.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Represented by an agency. I’ve always thought of going the traditional route. Not that there’s anything wrong with self-publishing, it’s just not for me.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

About seven days. I didn’t realize until I was done how fitting that is (since Tora only has seven days to save herself). It was for NaNo2012 and I had a pretty thorough chapter-by-chapter outline so I didn’t have to wonder what to do next? Now it’s time to revise, revise, revise. 

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I would say it’s like ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD / GIRL OF NIGHTMARES by Kendare Blake in the horror quality of the book and because of the Gunvald family.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

Kendare Blake, I really loved her books and it inspired me to try something horror-esque. Also ASHES by Isla J Bick, which also has a lot of horror in it and just the burning desire to keep reading until the very end of that book stayed with me. Except the ending really irked me (freaking cliffhanger…). THIS IS NOT A TEST by Courtney Summers is a thriller/suspense (with zombies, which is awesome) inspired me as well. I really loved it. Summers’s voice is just so there and the pace of that book was remarkable. I loved it from start to finish. I would also say POSSESS by Gretchen McNeil. I loved her voice in that book and it was probably the first YA Paranormal Thriller that I consciously read because of the genre.

Plus, the classic Stephen King (CARRIE, IT, THE SHINNING). One of my favorite horror writers.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Tora can’t control where her soul stays, if someone thinks about her hard enough she’ll be pulled to them. Her parents never bother to mourn for her, but a stranger cries for her constantly. A boy that she saw right after her death, the boy that let her die. At least, that’s what he (Delaney Gunvald) believes. The only other person who pulls her is her murderer, where she is forced to watch him torture other innocent girls.

And now I get to tag some people…

Delancey Stewart
Jennie
Jessica Nichollas

Girl of Nightmares & Auracle: Vastly Different Paranormal Experiences

Rating:

Recommended? Yes. For all the reasons I recommend reading Anna Dressed In Blood. But the ending of this book… oh, it’s brilliant. It’s amazing. This book will haunt you for days after you’re done reading.

Just like Anna Dressed In Blood, I loved this book. It’s another remarkable book, that’s well worth the read. The ending of this book was amazing. It was perfect and so sad at the same time. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this entire book. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time, wondering what was going to happen and which characters were going to end up dead. Again, I either loved the characters or hated them — there really wasn’t any half-feelings. Though I was conflicted a few times on how to feel about Jestine and Carmel from time to time.

I really like Thesus Cassio Lodwood. I can’t think of a main character I’ve enjoyed more than him at the moment. He is easy to relate to, even though I doubt many of us go out hunting ghosts at night — or love a ghost girl, either.

The writing was pretty great, too. The way Blake can just slip in the most disturbing imagery as if it is no big deal was impressive. She really has a talent for description, too, I could picture everything in my head clearly from her words. I just… was in awe of this book once I was done with it (which took all of one day because I couldn’t put it down).

I wonder if there will be another… I really want there to be, because I enjoyed the story so much, but end felt like closure, like it’s officially The End for Cas’s story. Either way, I’m going to read Blake’s next book (whatever it is). I’m a fan. The ending of this book still haunts me. I think about it all the time. It’s just so… right for this book. Everything is so right in this book. I loved it.

AURACLE by Gina Rosati

Rating:

Recommended? Sure. It’s worth reading, somethings bothered me in this book but if you are looking for something mildly funny and light but filled with drama then this would be a good book for you.

This book didn’t really get a fair shot from me, I’ll admit. I had just finished reading Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake and I was still thinking about it when I was reading this book. So I didn’t really allow myself to be fully immersed in the story. It’s an interesting one. The concept is the main character, Anna, can astral project and during a mishap another girl gets into her body and starts to control it, leaving her stuck without a body. With the help of her best friend, Rei, she starts her journey to get her body back. I really liked Rei but Anna… I mean, I liked her, but I couldn’t really relate with her. She was so good and pure and oddly spiritual (in a new agey type of way, not traditional) that I just couldn’t buy it.

A lot of this book taps into new agey things. And the balance between the power of negativity and positivity. I’m not into that type of thing at all. Give me a horror story any day, but don’t make me think about new agey spirituality. That aside, it was an interesting read. I liked Rei, I liked Seth, and I liked Anna well enough. But… there were things in this that bothered me a lot.

I don’t like excessive exclamation marks, particularly in narration — even if it is first person POV. This was done multiple times. As was CAPITALIZING WORDS TO MAKE A POINT, which I dislike. I just feel like it’s a cheap way out of good dialogue. You should be able to show the emphasis of these words WITHOUT DOING THIS. I know JK Rowling did it, but still, I’d rather not deal with that.

Rosati did a great job of packing a lot of tension and drama into the book, though. And I’m sure a lot of parts would have been very amusing for people that have a better sense of humor than me (I have a dry one, more Parks & Rec than SNL). The way she explains the other dimension Anna is in is very real and sometimes even beautiful. She has a great talent to explain the unexplainable. I will most certainly read whatever her next book is, so I’m not saying she’s a bad writer. She just does things that I would never.

Plus, the solution to the problem is pretty obvious — at least it was to me. And Anna really brought most of her problems down on herself because she was either stubborn or just… stupid for not thinking of the obvious answer. But, like I said, I really like Rei and his family. I’m glad I read this book, and I’m glad I bought it, but when I just read a book I loved as much as Girl of Nightmares, I guess I was expecting something else. Or something more.

Anna Dressed In Blood: Remarkable Read

Rating:

Recommended? Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Do you like a little horror? A little romance? And a whole lot of WTF just happened moments? Go find this book and read it now.

I loved this book. I loved it from the start to the finish. I loved everything about it. I loved Cas. I loved Anna, even when I wasn’t supposed to, and I loved the cover art. I mean, come on, look at it, how can you not want to read it after looking at that? Once I got more than five chapters in, I hopeless. There went my weekend, I couldn’t put it down. I’m dying to read Blake’s next book, Girl of Nightmares. I read about that book at Pub Crawl and instantly wanted to read it but I knew it was the second in a series so, obviously, I had to buy the first.

This story is amazing and completely engaging. It starts in action and ends in action. There’s something going on in every chapter, every second, and it all means something — but, you probably won’t realize it right away. There are characters that you’ll love and character that you’ll hate. But I guarantee it’ll be one or the other. There’s not one that I feel just faintly one way about.

At first, I thought this was going to be like Supernatural. I was a huge fan of that show for a long, long, time. The first five seasons of which was amazing, so I figured I’d like this book. That Cas was going to be a mini Dean Winchester but it’s not really. Or a mini-“Cas” (Castiel), which was all I could think about at first when I learned the MC’s nickname was also Cas. But the story is its own and fantastic. Even though everyone’s read about ghost killers before, right? Well, most people, at least. This was different from the rest. It was unique, and I really did like Cas a lot.

Blake is an amazing writer. She tells a fair share, but that’s just what happens when a story is first person POV. It’s present tense, which is perfect, because it’s full of urgent-action-filled-moments. I didn’t notice a lot of unneeded adverbs or adjectives. And I love her for showing that fiction, particularly YA, can be filled with semi-colons and that there isn’t anything wrong with that.

The best part was that I never knew what was coming. I really didn’t. I thought I did a couple of times but I was always wrong. And the ending… I just can’t wait to read the next book. Which, really sadly, I did not buy yet. Damn that little voice in my head that whispered what if you don’t like it? I should have already bought Girl Of Nightmares. I could’ve returned it if I didn’t like the first one… I guess I’ll just have to go buy it tomorrow. I was planning on reading another series starting tomorrow (I’m sort of on a read-a-thon) but that’ll just have to wait.