Friday, April 23, 2010

The future of books - interactivity!

I was amazed at Alice on the iPad (see my Alice review), but Jack and the Beanstalk proves that interactive books are only going to get better. Here’s why:
While Alice has exquisite graphics and fun animations, Jack and the Beanstalk has cute, kid-friendly graphics and LOTS of animations, PLUS music, interactions on every page, and games such as a memory game, a shape-matching game, bubble popping, and finger painting.
The interactions on Jack and the Beanstalk are things that kids will love to do like touch the screen to light the street lamp or start the fireworks, find hidden “easter” eggs that sing and wiggle, touch characters to make them talk or dance, and swipe to reveal hidden creatures in a lake and then count them.
You can turn “Narration Audio” off to read the story out loud yourself, but you may get tired of reading! Jack and the Beanstalk is a “book” that kids will want to “read” over and over again, not only to hear the fun story, but also to search for the hidden surprises.
And when you’re finished reading, you can go to the Ayars Website ( and download the Jack and the Beanstalk coloring book for kids to color.
Jack and the Beanstalk works on the iPhone (3.2 or later) and iPod Touch, too. 
So, fellow authors and publishers, how can we take advantage of this new technology? Have YOU considered an app for that?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Tulsa Night Writers-Tuesday April 20th

Speaking of Tulsa Night Writers, this Tuesday, April 20th, Anna Myers will be the guest speaker.

Anna is the author of Red Dirt Jesse and other Young Adult fiction. Her latest is Time of the Witches, a YA novel about the Salem Witch Trials.

Tulsa Night Writers meets at 7:00 p.m. on the 3rd Tuesday of the month at the Martin East Library at 31st & 129th East Ave., Tulsa, OK.

Chasing Lilacs by Carla Stewart is almost off the presses!

I haven't read this yet, but Carla Stewart, my friend and president of Tulsa Night Writers, just released her new book, Chasing Lilacs.

You can pre-order it now. I can't wait to read it.

Susan May Warren's Seminar

The seminar with Susan May Warren was awesome! She's an outstanding teacher as well as an author. She has the art of writing fiction down to a science!

If you're looking for easy-to-follow instructions on how to write a novel, either go to one of her workshops or purchase her books. She has two: From the Inside Out and Deep and Wide

I'm working through From the Inside Out first. This is her beginner's book. The first thing she has you do is zero in on your writing genre. I found this extremely helpful as I have a tendency to have too many projects at a time. I discovered from this exercise that I enjoy nonfiction writing a lot. But I do want to write a mystery-romance novel. So, my plan is to spend more time on nonfiction, but to allow one morning a week to work on my novel. I may not finish it before Jesus comes back, but at least I'll be working on it!

There is so much to do in this book that I'm only on page 15 as of today. The next step is to learn about book elements and basic plots in order to determine where my book will fit. I'll update my progress as I work through the book!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Review of Hand of Fate by Lis Wiehl

Hand of Fate (A Triple Threat Novel)How do talk show host deal with death threats? Do they take them seriously? What would they do if a package they are about to open contains explosives or poisonous gas?

Hand of Fate is an inside look at the world of talk show radio, as well as a fast-paced thriller about murder – the murder of an outspoken talk show host who has plenty of enemies. And plenty of enemies means there are plenty of suspects. Was it one of the guests he humiliated? Was it a co-worker who wanted his job? Was it a relationship gone sour?

The intrigue begins in very first chapter and builds to a surprise ending. You won't want to put this book down until you solve the mystery, so prepare to set aside a few hours to finish the book. 

The series, A Triple Threat Novel, features three major characters: Federal prosecutor Allison Pierce, FBI special agent Nicole Hedges and TV crime reporter Cassidy Shaw, all friends from high school who have reconnected as adults. The background stories of these main characters provide depth and interest to the series as they work together to solve the murders.

Although I had not read the first book in the series, I had no trouble understanding the plot of this one. However, I'm sure reading them in order will reveal details that I may have missed.

What I enjoyed most about the book is the fact that the major characters are normal people with normal problems, even the characters who are represented as Christians. There are no easy answers even for the Christians – just faith in a God who is still in control. I’m anxious to read how these three women continue to walk out their spiritual lives, as well as their professional careers. 

Loved the book! Can't wait to read the next in the series.