Unnormal Normalcy

Just News and Ramblings From Your Average Author

And FINALLY – Meant to be Broken

So, six months after I had originally planned on publishing the book, MtbB is finally out! Yay! I had issues with cover artists – which is why this took so long – so I had to do my own crappy, uncreative cover. I am not an artist or a photographer or a graphic designer. But I did what I could.

Description: Junior year hasn’t started very well for Ives Fay; his father passed away over the summer and he’s still having trouble accepting it, his mother is dealing with her own depression by chain-smoking and drinking, his sister finds it necessary to sleep with every guy she can in order to deal with her own emotions, and he has an androgynous stalker who comes to school as a guy one day and a girl the next. It’s all really messing with his mind. So he finds his escape in self-mutilation and bottles of alcohol stashed in his closet, hoping that the temporary fix will somehow become permanent. Then, when he’s on a fast track to an early end, he meets Tomi, a guy so much like himself, but so very different. Could their nearly instant friendship be enough to save Ives from his dangerous path? And could Tomi give enough to be Ives’ saving grace? Or will Tomi’s own troubles prevent either of them from ever finding happiness?

Amazon Page (available in both paperback and for Kindle)

You can read all of chapter one for free right here.

But here is a little snippet from later in the book:

Kylle abandoned him as soon as they got to the mall in Madison, and Ives found himself wandering toward a hair salon just outside the food court he had been ditched in. His hair was getting out of control, and was becoming brown again, instead of black. So he checked his wallet to see how much cash he had to spare, then entered.

He was assaulted by the smell of shampoo and hairspray before he even made it across the threshold. The blond girl at the counter took his name and told him there would be a twenty-minute wait. Having nothing better to do, Ives thanked her and sat down in the waiting area.

Two seats away from him was a guy who instantly caught his attention. He was the only other person sitting there, and he looked bored with the magazine he was flipping through. His hair was chestnut with faded black highlights, and hung in his face so that he had to hold it back slightly in order to see the magazine in his lap. His hand had chipped black nail polish and a couple of silver rings. He wore battered jeans, black sneakers, and a plain black hoodie. He appeared to be about Ives’ height, which Ives happily noted. When he pulled his hair back further, Ives could see five silver piercings in his ear.

He also spotted Ives staring at him then.

Ives nodded to him. “Hey. You’re pretty cute.”

Pale green eyes blinked with surprise. “Uh… thanks?” he replied, blushing slightly.

Normally, that was the best part of the game, seeing the other person’s reaction, but this time he realized that he actually wanted someone to talk to. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d had a conversation with anyone except his sister and his teammates. “Okay, that’s probably not a good conversation starter,” he said by means of apology.

The other guy shrugged and flipped through his magazine some more. “It’s a new one,” he commented.

“I’m Ives,” he offered.

“Tomi,” was the reply, green eyes glancing up.

“‘Toe-me’?” Ives pronounced it slowly and deliberately, finding it a very odd name.

“Pretty much.” Tomi glanced at him again and noticed his Raynor archery hoodie. “You’re on the archery team for Raynor?”

Ives nodded, deciding that the kid couldn’t be from Raynor if they didn’t recognize each other. “That’s why I have the hoodie.”

“You’ve probably seen some of my friends, then,” the guy stated. He sounded excited.

“Your friends are on one of the teams?” Ives asked, slightly surprised.

Tomi nodded. “Madison.”

Ives was even more curious. “Who are they?”

“One is Shauna Fabian,” Tomi replied.

Ives thought a moment, then nodded. “She’s okay.”

“And Seth Salvador-Knight,” Tomi offered next.

“Would that be S-K?” Ives asked, nodding. “He’s pretty good.”

“They’re all better than I would be. What about Kiona Carson?” he went on.

Ives let out a surprised laugh. “You know Carson? Man, she is a fucking goddess of archery. She’s probably one of the best in the league. Don’t tell me you’re friends with Kashmir, too.”

Tomi smiled as he shrugged. “You mean Nelson? I sit with him and Seth at lunch a lot, so I’d say he’s a friend.”

Ives laughed again. “You think you could arrange for them to give me lessons?”

“Nelson and Kiona taught Seth how to shoot,” Tomi replied, grinning. “But if they helped you they would be aiding the enemy, wouldn’t they?”

“I would switch teams in a heartbeat just to have them give me lessons,” Ives stated.

Tomi laughed. “I’m sure your team would miss you.”

The conversation ended abruptly there, because the hairdresser came for Tomi, who set down his magazine. He waved to Ives as he followed the woman. “See ya.”

Ives waved back and said goodbye. He was still smiling a few minutes later when another hairdresser called his name. Smiling was something he wasn’t used to, at all, and he loved it.

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September 14, 2012 Posted by | Meant to be Broken | Leave a comment

What Stress Does to Me

Well, my classes started this week, and I am super super stressed about the interview I have Friday morning for an internship. So stressed that I can’t do anything productive at all. Nothing. My face hurts from clenching my jaw so hard.

Anyway, in an attempt to de-stress, I started stalking Cassandra Clare’s blog. I have only read the first three books of The Mortal Instruments, and I’m taking a hiatus from reading the series until I either, (a) decide for some reason to keep on reading, or (b) I find out that she fixes this silly Magnus/Alec mess she made. But I stalked her blog to see what she had to say about the Magnus/Alec (I refuse to be a super fangirl, thus, I don’t use “Malec”) situation. This is my conclusion from fairly recent posts.

One fan asked her: any chance we’ll get to meet new guy characters in City of Heavenly Fire? and will they be cute?

Clare answered: You’ll have to wait for Dark Artifices for new hot guys. 🙂 [OK, there may be some cameos from the TDA characters in CoHF. So that counts a bit.]

Another fan asked: in city of heavenly fire, is alec okay? I mean after the break up 😦 — also in the dark artifices, since it isn’t set SO much in the future, will simon and isabelle and alec and jace and clary and magnus and all that jazz be in the dark artifices as well? I mean, as supporting characters.

Clare answered: Alec spends a lot of time drunk-dialing Magnus. Alec is ok.It’s part of being human: you live, you love, you get your heart broken, you go on. Maybe you get that love back and maybe you get a different one. Alec has good friends and family  that love him and that’s what he’s relying on at the beginning of Heavenly Fire. As for Dark Artifices, those cast members of Mortal Instruments who survive will be checked in with — they’ll be twenty-two, twenty-three, years old, so adults, really. The whole bunch of them are not going to hang around, hogging the narrative, because it’s Emma and Julian and Mark and the rest’s story, not theirs, but we’ll know what they’re up to — who’s married, who stayed together, who didn’t…

So, if we look at these answers together, she is basically saying that the characters from the new series will have cameos in the final book of TMI, but there are no new guys added to the cast. Following that same line, the characters from TMI will be making cameos in the next series. She basically hints that something will happen with Alec, because she could have just said, very simply, “you move on.” But look at what she really said. Maybe it’s a character making an appearance from the new series, but writing about a relationship where one half doesn’t have a major part in the story seems pretty freaking difficult.

My opinion: She’s going to fix this mess.

At least, I hope so. Because the other option is that one of them dies.

Worse, they get back together and then one of them dies.

Or they both die.

Crap.

September 5, 2012 Posted by | Life, Reading | Leave a comment

The Summoner Review

Title: The Summoner

Author: Gail Z. Martin

Published: January 2007, Solaris

Source: PaperbackSwap

Goodreads Description:

The comfortable world of Martris Drayke, second son of King Bricen of Margolan, is shattered when his older half-brother, Jared, and Jared¿s dark mage, Foor Arontala, kill the king and seize the throne. Tris is the only surviving member of the royal family aside from Jared the traitor. Tris flees with three friends: Soterius, captain of the guard; Carroway, the court¿s master bard; and Harrtuck, a member of the royal guard. Tris harbors a deep secret. In a land where spirits walk openly and influence the affairs of the living, he suspects he may be the mage heir to the power of his grandmother, Bava K¿aa, once the greatest sorceress of her age. Such magic would make Tris a Summoner, the rarest of magic gifts, capable of arbitrating between the living and the dead.

My Thoughts:

For being such a huge book, this was a fairly easy read, and I really did enjoy it.

I really like Tris. I think he’s awesome, especially with his super-cool powers. And the fact that he is completely different from his nasty brother is awesome. I feel like he’s going to return to fight his brother and be all, “hey, big bro, I gots epic powers and you just have an evil vampire who does everything for you!”

Kiara is pretty awesome too, all warrior woman in charge of her own destiny. With a mini dragon. And the vampires were pretty cool, especially Gabriel. I liked how he didn’t bother to help Vahanian until he had no choice, when they first met up.

All the other characters were just meh. I didn’t care what happened to them, really.

Where I got completely lost was the ending. I don’t understand why King Staden felt the need to arrest them just to bring them to the castle. Weren’t they going to seek aid from him anyway? I thought the knights knew that Tris’ group knew they were there… why did they need to make the king think the group needed to be arrested?

And Berry. I don’t understand the method behind her ruse at hiding the fact that she was a princess. And how the general who arrested them didn’t recognize her and blow her cover. It doesn’t work for me.

Finally, how did Vaharian, the seasoned adventurer, not know that Dark Haven was the refuge for vampires? After the king makes him the lord of Dark Haven, he doesn’t seem fazed, and doesn’t seem to understand why Carina tells him to expect to see more of Gabriel. Seems weird that he doesn’t know something like that.

Overall, though, I enjoyed this read. On to the sequel!

Rating: 4/5

September 1, 2012 Posted by | Reading | Leave a comment

Musical Observations

I just stumbled across the group Imagine Dragons, and I really like them, but while listening to them on YouTube I discovered something interesting about this video for “It’s Time.”


It reminds me quite a bit of this video, which is for another song by another band I adore.

Kind of makes me wonder if Imagine Dragons is a fan of Woodkid.

August 30, 2012 Posted by | Life, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Soundtrack Sunday

Love. All the love.

August 19, 2012 Posted by | Soundtrack Sunday | Leave a comment

The End Review

Title: The End

Author: Nora Olsen

Published: December 2010, Prizm

Source: PaperbackSwap

Goodreads Description:

When World War Three breaks out, seventeen-year-old Julia is on a school trip to Amsterdam, while fourteen-year-old Marly is trapped in a prison for delinquent girls. They both discover magical amulets, and try their best to save themselves and those around them. But it looks like their best will not be enough, as nuclear war threatens the survival of the human race.

On her journey home to New York, Julia is joined by three other queer teens–the mysterious and alluring Ginger; lipstick lesbian Vikki; and five-thousand-year-old Skilly, who has an amulet that grants him eternal life. When Julia and Marly meet, they are immediately attracted to each other. But romance has to take a back seat as the five friends learn the true powers of the amulets. Can they travel through time to save the world from total destruction?

My Thoughts:

I have mixed feelings about this book.

Not a whole lot was really explained. Why was Marley taken away from her family? Why was she in juvenile detention? Skipping school doesn’t seem like a realistic reason… What is actually happening while they are trying to save the world? I wanted more insight into the day-to-day planning and the actual things they did. How did everyone know that these kids had really saved them? Why would any of those kids made that public?

The ending was too abrupt. Gog bringing Muldoona back to life and wanting to marry her again… uh, what? Ginger makes zero sense to me. All of a sudden she has a kid? And she is swayed by Muldoona but helps the other kids but seems to think they all hate her yet she suicide-bombs Muldoona. The heck? Also, the magical fighting was just a giant confusion in my head.

Skilly was a serious jerk, being all, “I never let anyone wear my amulet lalala, five thousand years and I’ve watched everyone I love die because I’m a heartless jerkface rawrawr.” And why is everyone wasting time making out and having sex when they’re supposed to be saving the world?

I’m a bit frustrated.

Rating: 2/5

August 17, 2012 Posted by | Reading | Leave a comment

Weekend of Fun

Where was I this past weekend? At the Sterling Renaissance Festival in Sterling, NY!

This is, by far, my favorite annual event that happens in my area of New York. Though, honestly, this was the second time I had gone in the 21 years I’ve been living here (it’s been running for 36 years). The last time I went was the 30th anniversary, and that was with my parents. Of course, going with them, we didn’t dress up. This time I went with a friend from school. I dressed up this time, and I felt so much more like a part of the whole thing. I thought I’d feel awkward, but I totally felt like I belonged there.

Some highlights of the day: we saw the joust twice and still have no idea how much of it is acting and how much of it is real – though there are some obvious staged routines such as what side each knight rides for and how they act around each other before and after the jousting takes place; I had my first turkey leg and it was incredibly delicious; we watched Don Juan and Miguel, a seemingly random stage performance that was completely hilarious, a jester who juggled and did magic tricks, and a Celtic band.

We also learned that your manliness can be determined by how many “blows to the nethers” you can endure before yielding.

And, as if my life isn’t consumed by school, work, writing, and other hobbies, I’ve decided to create an entire character for myself for the next time I go to this festival. Or any other, for that matter. I’ve going to have so much fun with that!

And now, I leave with you with a terrible picture of me and “Sir William.”

August 15, 2012 Posted by | Life | Leave a comment

Inheritance Review

Title: Inheritance

Author: Christopher Paolini

Published: November 2011, Knopf

Source: bought at Target

Goodreads Description:

Not so very long ago, Eragon – Shadeslayer, Dragon Rider – was nothing more than a poor farm boy, and his dragon, Saphira, only a blue stone in the forest. Now the fate of an entire civilization rests on their shoulders.

Long months of training and battle have brought victories and hope, but they have also brought heartbreaking loss. And still, the real battle lies ahead: they must confront Galbatorix. When they do, they will have to be strong enough to defeat him. And if they cannot, no one can. There will be no second chance.

The Rider and his dragon have come farther than anyone dared to imagine. But can they topple the evil king and restore justice to Alagaesia? And if so, at what cost?

This is the spellbinding conclusion to Christopher Paolini’s worldwide bestselling Inheritance cycle.

My Thoughts:

I decided to read this book because I wanted to know how it all ends.

I ended up having to scan the last two hundred pages. I have never read a slower book filled with nothing but frilly wording. Paolini drags everything out as long as he possibly can, and so many times I felt like demanding he get to the point.

His failure to put Eragon and Arya together enraged me. I was expecting to finally see them together, but of course not. That would have been too logical.

I’m just so beyond disappointed and frustrated with this book. What a total waste.

Rating: 1/5

August 10, 2012 Posted by | Reading | Leave a comment

I’m Alive, I Swear!

Sorry for the unplanned hiatus. I’ve had a lot going on: getting ready for school, working, working out, getting distracted by the Olympics, reading stuff online instead of books from my TBR pile, trying to write, trying to plot out my novel for NaNoWriMo, and other stuff. I’m also struggling to read Inheritance by Christopher Paolini. For my thoughts on that, here is my recent Facebook status:

I just don’t understand why I’m having such a hard time getting through Inheritance. I think it’s Paolini’s writing style that is bothering me. I think my preferences have changed since reading Brisingr, and I’m really bothered by the overly flowery-flashy way he writes. Especially battle scenes where he paints beautiful pictures of graphic death. And he uses the flowery-ness to drag out scenes that don’t need to be dragged out so long. And I’m not even going to get into his refusal to actually put Eragon and Arya into a romantic relationship like they so obviously should be in. I’m halfway through the book, and I’m going to finish it because I want to know how this series ends, but I may throw the book out a window when I’m done.

And that is why it is taking me ages to read it. Not the fact that it’s over 800 pages long. I just can’t get into it, but I NEED to know how it ends!

And I’m going to force myself to get back into updating here. I just have to structure the time it takes to write a post into my day, or I’ll never get back on track!

August 6, 2012 Posted by | Life, Reading | Leave a comment

Soundtrack Sunday

So, maybe if I schedule this post I will actually remember it for once… I’m so terrible. Just go ahead and punch me.

Anyway, I bought the new LP CD the other day. I am totally in love with it. Their last CD can’t compare. This one is my favorite, even if they have changed.

Yes, you’re being spammed.

That last one makes me cry.

July 22, 2012 Posted by | Promoting, Soundtrack Sunday | Leave a comment