Navigation Control Center

You are now entering the world of my thoughts.

This blog is my diary of works in progress. The only way a writer can improve upon her skill is to practice, practice and practice some more. Here, in this place of quiet peace, I pen to paper my thoughts and creativity. Welcome to my world.

Copyright © 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 SN Taylor, All Rights Reserved

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Book Review: Fireborn: A Dragonborn Novel by Toby Forward

Fireborn: A Dragonborn NovelFireborn: A Dragonborn Novel by Toby Forward
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This story follows the adventures of Cabbage, an apprentice to Wizard Flaxfield, Perry, a roffle, from the Deep World, and Bee, a young girl whose powerful magic is stolen and creates a wild kind of magic that goes on a destructive path that threatens to kill everyone, including her. When the wizard, Flaxfield loses his magic, it is up to Cabbage and Perry to help Bee and stop Slowin and his hungry beetle army and return balance to the world.

When I first began reading Fireborn, I almost did not finish it. The beginning felt disjointed with the different story lines of Bee and Cabbage, it was hard to tell where the story was going. However, once I had a sense of the story arc and plot, I was able put the pieces together and enjoy the story. This was unlike any story about magic that I have ever read, which is great because I don't normally like to read about magic and sorcery.

I can see preteens liking the characters, Cabbage and Perry. They are brave, adventurous, loyal, witty and funny. They are boys from two different worlds, that would rather keep them apart, but they forge a friendship despite the rules in place to separate them. They are the reason I kept reading and cheering for their success. I was a little disappointed in Bee's character and the lack of her presence and journey in the book. I wanted to see more of her the way I experienced Cabbage and Perry.

View all my reviews

Friday, December 13, 2013

Book Blog Tour: Ruby Heart by Christelle Comby

Ruby Heart

When elderly client Doris Hargrave informs private investigator Alexandra Neve that her beloved antique ruby heart necklace has gone missing for the second time in a period of over sixty years, Alexandra knows this is no ordinary jewellery theft. The ruby heart is a family heirloom and the only thing that connects an ailing Mrs Hargrave to her parents, who were murdered during the Holocaust. To solve the case, Alexandra and her business partner, blind history professor Ashford Egan, must sift through obscure Holocaust documents to find out the truth. It’s that way that they learn of a secret World War II-era love affair which could hold the key to all the answers they are looking for. Meanwhile, Egan is under immense pressure from the university to quit his private investigating business, and Alexandra is afraid that a man she trusts will leave her. Again. When Alexandra begins to receive anonymous threats and her flat is vandalized, this all becomes personal. Knowing that there is someone out there to hurt her, Alexandra vows to find that elusive ruby heart if it’s the last thing she ever does.

My  Review:

Alexandra is a struggling PI with a blind university professor as her assistant. Most of her cases range from missing pets to cheating spouses. All of which barely pays her bills. She longs for a real case. She gets it in the form of an elderly woman who's heirloom, a ruby heart necklace is stolen, for the second time in a period of sixty years. This necklace is no ordinary piece of jewelry. It has a historical connection to the holocaust era. In order to solve the case of the stolen necklace, Alexandra and her partner, Ashford, delve into the past to figure out who stole it the first time. Her investigation lands her in a lot of trouble. When her home is sacked, her family threatened, and the only evidence she has linking the past thief to the recent one, Alexandra knows she is close to the truth.

Ruby Heart is the second book in the Neve and Egan series. Having not read the first book in the series, I was afraid I would miss a lot but I was pleasantly surprised that while sometimes references were made to incidents in the first book, they did not confuse or hamper the story line in Ruby Heart. I love a good detective story and this one has been added to my list. I have to admit, I was worried how a blind character could possibly be of any use to a PI but I loved Ash in the story, he certainly can pull his weight if he needs too (and he does :D)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author:

Cristelle Comby was born and raised in the French-speaking area of Switzerland, in Greater Geneva, where she still resides. Thanks to her insatiable thirst for American and British action films and television dramas, her English is fluent. She attributes to her origins her ever-peaceful nature and her undying love for chocolate. She has a passion for art, which also includes an interest in drawing and acting. Ruby Heart is her second new-adult novel, and she’s hard at work on the next titles in the Neve & Egan series.

Buy Link:
Cristelle Comby's Amazon page

Learn more about the author:
Cristelle Comby's Web Site:

Cristelle Comby's Facebook:
Cristelle Comby's Twitter:

Cristelle Comby's Goodreads:

Ruby Heart blog tour site:

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Once Upon A Pitch

So, you find yourself in a conversation with an old friend, co-worker, random stranger and it comes up that you are writing a story. "Oh, what's your story about?" they ask. If you are anything like me, then this dreaded question sends you into shudders, stammers and hyperventilation.

Pitching my work in progress is the hardest thing for me to do. One would think I should be able to pitch my own story but actually, it is hard to give a description of a story without rambling and giving it all away. Well, it is hard for me.

I have joined quite a few groups, blogs and forums, looking for ways to develop the art of pitching books. I get a lot of practice reading other pitches over on Susanna Hill's blog. She has a wonderful weekly blog post called Would You Read It, where writers post a pitch of their work in progress. Readers are given the opportunity to say why they would or would not read a book based on the given pitch. The exercise gives the writer help in tightening their pitches. It is also great for people like me to learn just what makes a good pitch.

But I was even more thrilled a few days ago to find a really super and simple way to pitch a story plot. This wonderful example comes from Mandy over at Picture Book Academy. Her post, Plotting Your Picture Book with a logline or pitch is quite informative. She begins with the basic elements of a character based/plot driven picture book. Then Mandy gives an example of a generic pitch.
Character wants to do something but can’t because there are obstacles. But when something drastic changes or happens, the character is able to do something and solves the problem.

_________________________ wants to _______________________ but can’t because _____________________ .But when _____________________, he/she is able to_________________ and __________ .

Visit Mandy's blog post and download her awesome worksheet that outlines the basic structure of a story pitch.

Happy Pitching!!!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

30 ideas in 30 days!

Better late than never!!!! :D
I did it!!!!
Yep, November ended with a whopping 30 picture book ideas, 2 of which have been fleshed out to really rough drafts!!
My goal for next year? Write, write, write!!! :D

Member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators