Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Characters: To Kill or Not to Kill

I promise I haven't been slacking lately.  Okay, maybe a little, but truthfully, summer is nearly upon us and I swear when you have two kids its like herding wildlife.  Anyway, that has kept me busy, plus work.  That said, I wanted to do a quick post to get your thoughts on killing off characters.

As a writer, ever have an internal debate about when or if you should kill your characters?  When you've contemplated this, are they usually secondary or tertiary ones?  What about a main character?  Or have you done this already?  I ask because recently, I was sucked into Chloe Neill's Chicagoland Vampire series.  No, I haven't reviewed any of her books here, because I haven't had a chance.  I enjoy the series, but what I'm most perplexed about after reading Hard Bitten, book 4 in the series is why the author killed off the main character, Ethan Sullivan?  I understand when you're towards the end of a series that some times main characters are sacrificed, but usually there is a story/reasoning behind doing so.  Like most fans of the Chicagoland series, I was a bit taken back.  Was I pissed off like several were?  No and I'm still a fan.  But...I was disappointed and that got me thinking.   

Game of Thrones

As a writer, when is it okay to kill a main character off?  And as a reader, when is it acceptable for a beloved character to die?  

Before you respond, consider this:  

JK Rowling killed off many beloved characters including main ones.  Remember how much flack she got for it too?  I think Time magazine did a spread of it.  Additionally, Joss Whedon does it...a lot.  In fact, he talked about it last month on Reddit.  Here's an interesting fan question on the topic:

Fan Q: "I'm sure that killing off a character you've invested a lot of time in can be tough. Have you ever found that doing this to a particular character has had a profound emotional affect on you? Who was the toughest kill?"

Whedon reply:  "I actually find it refreshing... delightful.... vaguely arousing.... Actually, I'm, no offense, very tired of being labelled as "the guy who kills people". Shakespeare (he's this hot new writer) does it way more than me, and everyone's all excited about how he, as it were, holds a mirror up to nature, while I'm like the Jason Voorhees of the writing community. Unfair."

And as far as who was the toughest to kill, Whedon's answer was Buffy's mom. I agree. In fact it was the toughest to watch.  What about you? Thoughts?

Mina B.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Splash into Summer Giveaway Hop

Welcome to my Splash into Summer Giveaway Hop! There are over 200 blogs participating. Pretty cool, huh? This hop is hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and co-hosted by Page Turners Blog.  It runs from May 25th to 31st so get ready to enter to win.
My Free Sh** Fairy and I have decided, once again, to let the minions pick their poison.  To clarify,one (1) lucky winner can choose one (1) of the following HOT YA releases for their prize.  The choices are:  Best-selling author Richelle Mead's The Golden Lily, which releases June 12th is a seriously addicting YA series.  If you haven't read the Vampire Academy series or spin-off Bloodlines, check it out here.  And Lauren Oliver's Pandemonium is another hot YA novel, but don't take my word for it.  Check what all the readers are saying on Goodreads.

To enter
You MUST be a GFC follower of my blog & MUST fill the form.

Extra entries
+1 Subscribe via email to my blog
+1 Like me on Facebook/MinaBurrows
+1 Retweet this Twitter (limit 1 retweet)

Again, the giveaway s
tarts at 12:01 AM EST on Friday May 25th, and runs through May 31st midnight. Contest is open to International participants. 

Check out who else is participating.  Visit

Thanks for participating!

Fridays with Fred
Fred and I watched Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 the other day.  That's my favorite one of the series.  

Be sure and stop by and visit Schatze over at Mary’s BookHounds too.
Have a great weekend.

Mina B.

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Lucky 7 MeMe - Lucky me!

Last week I was tagged for  The Lucky 7 MeMe by Nick Wilford. Not having the faintest idea of what to blog about today, I realized how remarkable the timing was on this.  Thanks Nick!  I ended up using my current WIP, Mystic Deeds.  This novel has been kicking me in the a** for far too long and now it's my turn to do the a** kicking!  I was even more surprised that I had 77 pages for this meme, discovering I actually had 83.  Woot!  Now all I have to do is finish the darn thing.  I actually joined June Novel Writing Month the try to do just that.  I need to write least 1700 words a day in order to do so.  Wish me luck!

Here's how it works.  

Go to page 77 of your current MS
Go to line 7
Copy down the next 7 lines as they're written-- no cheating!
Tag 7 other writers
Let them know!

Here's page 77 from my current WIP, Mystic Deeds.  In my MS, I promise it's 7 lines, but somehow my blog pushed it to eleven. Sorry.

By Barron Strig’s order, Triley slipped a poison—a Merth herb called feralic— into Baron Omitt’s bath. Once finely ground its potency quadrupled, creating an odorless powder that when submerged in water, could seep through the body’s skin, penetrate into one’s brain cells and suffocate a victim in a slow, painful death. It happened exactly that way for Omitt and no one was the wiser. With two of the original seven Barons already dead, none dared asked questions.  Now the remaining knew they had to watch their backs. And so by the time the remaining Black Barons convened, they were all too happy to set Strig’s attention back on the five Svenian escapees.

That's it.  And now here are seven writers I've picked to pass it on! If you have already received The Lucky 7 Meme, don''t worry, post something else you're working on.

Mina Lobo
Judy Ann Davis
Cheryl Schmidt
Danielle B.
Michael Pierce

I hope everyone has a killer week!

Remember, if you have news you'd like me to share, shoot me an email and I'll be sure and share. :)

Mina B.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows: The Cheese Factor Continues

I was so looking forward to Tim Burton & Johnny Depp’s take on the classic 60/70’s paranormal soap opera, Dark Shadows.  Despite all the negative reviews, I decided to check it out last night.  *sigh*  I’d have to say, the one thing the original, the 90's remake and Tim Burton's take have in common is they’re cheesy as all get out! The only thing that would have made it more cheesier is if Chester cheetah himself made a cameo—instead of McDonald's.
Aside from that, the movie was bleh.  Part morose and part family drama, Dark Shadows was riddled with humor which I found confusing.  Don't get me wrong, I laughed, but still either you're a comedy or a drama.  Look, I love Tim Burton so much it’s heartbreaking when his movies don’t measure up.  Sadly, the truth is not every film he makes will be legendary. Not every one he produces or directs will be an instant cult classic.  As much as I’d like to wave his flag, this was not a win.  It was okay. The cheesiness was there, the plot eh, but other than that, the vampire paranormal family drama was only slightly mollifying.  Should you go and see it?  If you love Tim Burton and Johnny Depp, sure…why not?  Just keep your expectations in check.

What about you? Have you seen it? What did you think? Am I way off?


Bloody Good Writer News!

Jessica Therrien recently announced that the foreign rights to her YA series, Children of the Gods, which include Oppression and her next book (Title TBD) have been sold to publishers in France, Canada, and Taiwan. That is truly amazing news for Jessica and her debut novel. Awesome job, sweetie. If you’re feeling up to it, stop by and give her a shout out.

- Jessica Redmerski released her adult fantasy book, Dirty Eden back in March.  Jessica, who I recently interviewed and reviewed her YA debut novel, The Mayfair Moon, is also set to release book two in her Darkwoods series, The Kindred, in July. See her post for more details

Do you have some killer news you want to share?  Shoot me an email with the details so I can share it with my minions too! 

Fridays with Fred
And let’s not forget about Fred—the lazy bum. 

If you can, stop by and visit Schatze over at Mary’s BookHounds too.  We love her!

Have a great weekend. 

Mina B.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Oh Snap! It's the First Loves Blogfest

Welcome to the First Loves Blogfest where I'm featuring--you guessed it--the first movie, song, book and of course love that enamored me.
This was a challenge for me, since I tend to be one of those annoying people that states, "Oh, I love this or I love that."  That being said, I did my best to narrow it down by attaching it with a treasured memory.

First Movie
Stir of Echoes
This was a movie that from the begining struck a cord with me. The main character, Tom Witzky, played by Kevin Bacon had all the traits I love in a character. He was down-to-earth, protective of his family, ignorant of his talents and nowhere near prepared for a mysterious dead girl haunting him. This was a mystery through and through and I was suspended until the very end. I put it as my first favorite, because at the time I saw this, I was reading several Dean Koontz books and it inspired me to create. Have you seen this movie? Did you like it? Did you think it was scary?

First Band

This was a tough one for me.  I love all types of music.  I had the unfortunate experience of dating a jerk in high school that tried to dictate the type of music I listened to or even purchased (true story).  Anyway, I learned early on to voice my opinion and in doing so, I found I had quite an eclectic taste.  In short, I'm a lover of all music.  I chose Foo Fighters because they are authentic, they've rocked for decades and I LOVE this video. 

First Book
I adore Jane Austen and marvel at her works.  She created timeless tales, but also published them during a time that was almost impossible for a woman to do so.  What I loved about this book was our heroine, Anne Elliot.  She refuses her first love, young Frederick Wentworth, mainly because he has no title, little money and her family disapproves.  Many years later, Wentworth returns after touring with the Royal Navy as a rich, single Captain.  And with a substantial fortune, he begins searching for a wife.  The best part of this book is Ann's colossal mistake.  Having been persuaded by her family the first time, does she have the strength to endure the likes of Captain Wentworth again?   Have you read this one?  Do you like Jane Austen or are you tired of her?

First Love
Innocent Love
This might sound ludicrous, but my first love was when I was four.  My mother used to drop me off at daycare where I'd cry incessantly.  A boy in my class, David--a name I'll never forget--befriended me so I wouldn't cry any more.  He was like an angel to me back then.  From that moment on, we were inseparable until a year later when I moved.  After all these years, I still remember David's kindness and above all his friendship.  

What about you?  Any first loves you'd like to share?

Mina B.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Mother's Day, Temporary Tattoos & Fred

Happy Friday, minions!  I'm so glad the week is over.  I've been ridiculously busy doing to many things at one time.  Staying focused on writing is my challenge of late.  When I'm overwhelmed with tasks, I try to create lists, but then the lists overwhelm me too.  Damn.  See my dilemma?  
Mom tattoo
Happy Mother's Day!
Anyway before I forget, Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there!  I hope you rest and enjoy your weekend!  Do you have any plans this weekend?  Brunch, book reading or a family barbecue?  I'm a mother of two adorable hellions, I know we have BIG plans this weekend including sleep overs, water parks and maybe a barbecue.  There is never a dull moment in my home and I wouldn't have it any other way.
Temporary Tattoos
A-Z Challenge, Survivor Badge
Today I wanted to share with you this cool craft you can do with your kids this weekend or over the summer.  My kids and I will be creating temporary tattoos, so I'm super excited about that.  The kids will do their normal imagery i.e. skulls and bones, princess tiaras--maybe the mom tattoo above. (doubtful)  If you're interested, check out this easy peasy video:  DIY how to make a temporary tattoo.  Who knew if could be this easy?  Guess which image I'll be doing?  You guessed it--my A-Z Survivor Badge.  Hopefully it will look good.  We'll see.  I'll post pix if it rocks!

Friday's with Fred  
I consider Fred one of my kids too.  He's been with me for 12 years!  Love him.  Last week we took him to the vet for shots.  It wasn't fun for Fred, but he needed it.  Don't feel bad for him, though.  As you can see, he got one fat, meaty bone as a reward!

Fred's Meaty Bone
Off my white carpet, Fred!
Be sure and stop by and visit Schatze over at Mary’s BookHounds too.

Have a great weekend.

Mina B.

Monday, May 7, 2012

A-Z Challenge: Reflections Post

It's time to reflect on last month's A-Z Challenge.  I'll try to keep it short.  My theme was likable characters, and for the most part, I stayed true to it.  I'm proud to say I never missed a post.  *happy dance*  That was no small feat, I assure you.  There's a reason it's called a challenge, huh?
For me, the hardest part was blogging daily and keeping the content engaging.  I think some days I preformed well, others...not so much.  The challenge forced me to be a bit more organized with planning and writing my blog posts.  And the best part about the A-Z Challenge were the connections I made with other writers.  Visiting, reading and commenting on other blogs helped bring home the experience.  And for that, I am grateful.  

In a nutshell, although the A-Z Challenge was challenging, it definitely had its rewards--the people.  Sometimes the writing process is a lonesome one, but what I found out with A-Z doesn't have to be.  :0)        

Mina B.
And damn proud too!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Book Review: Deadlocked by Charlaine Harris

Deadlocked is the 12th book in Charlaine Harris’ bestselling Sookie Stackhouse novels. It released earlier this week, and I was able to get my hands on a copy.  I know from the reviews I've read, they are some fans ready to ditch the series.  I'm happy to report, I don't share their sentiments.  Note:  I'll do my best not to mention any spoilers.
Deadlocked, in short, is about family, friendship, vampire politics and of course star-crossed love. If you’ve read the sneak peak chapter Harris released on her site, then you understand some of the family dynamics brewing in Bon Temps. Sookie has her hands full with fairies in Deadlocked. Why exactly are they drawn to her? Is it her blood? Is it the portal in the woods? Or is it the cluviel dor? Not that many folks know about the cluviel dor or its powerful magic? Or do they?

In the snippet Harris provides, she mentioned Eric being accused of murder.  But is he really capable of it?  Hell yes. But did he do this murder? The police seem to think so—along with everybody else. Even Sookie has her doubts. The story tracks Sookie in her not-so-normal life in Bon Temps as she attempts to find the real culprit. And the vampire politics with Felipe are heated because the King wants answers about his missing regent vampire, Victor.  And then of course there is The Queen of Oklahoma, Freyda. You’ll be happy to know the Sookie finally meets the regal beauty. And boy is she positively frightening. Or maybe threatening is a better word.  Despite the unnerving situation, Sookie handles it with courage, grace and even a splash of spitfire. I love that about her. And let's not forget about Eric Northman. The impending decision from the vampire viking has yet to be made. Will pride rule over love? Who will Eric choose: Freyda or Sookie?

I call these two star-crossed because that’s ultimately what they are. He’s a vampire. She’s part fairy and part human. Two very unlikely beings that were doomed from the start. While the ride was fun—and you may hate me for stating this, minions—I don’t think they will last long.  As you know, much has happened in the past, but in this book, clear lines are drawn on both sides. At times, it was hard to read. *swallows hard* And there’s much of me that is extremely disappointed in Eric. Damn you, Eric!

For me, Deadlocked was a thrilling read. Some fans are exasperated with the series, but not me. Expect to have some questions answered, but not everything will be revealed. The ending rocked my world. Sookie has balls. BALLS! She makes an irrevocable decision in Deadlocked that will leave you in awe if not begging for more. The ending alone, put this book at a 4.

Don't forget about Fred. Here's a shot of him snuggling with me. My buddy.

 Remember to stop by and visit Schatze over at Mary’s BookHounds too.

Have a great weekend.

Mina B.