Thursday, June 25, 2015

Products Inspired by Your Book

The Chasing Echoes Sweat Shop is underway! As I mentioned in my last post, my mother in-law and I are making crafty-type products to go along with my book in an effort to give my author's booth a more homespun feel for my upcoming mountain events.

EVERY author should do this you guys. Just for the mere fun of it. Even if no one buys any of this crap (albeit pretty crap), the process is making me fall in love with my book all over again.

So, here is what we have so far. DRUM ROLL PLEASE...........Fine, no drum roll. 

Chasing Echoes Stationery

All-occasion cards hand-stamped to represent each of the Aevos sisters. From left to right: Topaz (Fall), Phoenix (Summer), Krystal (Winter), and Aviva (Spring). Gift-packaged in a set of four with seasonal charm.

Chasing Echoes Soaps

Handcrafted organic soaps--a different scent and style to represent each of the Aevos' sisters. Scents include Topaz Apple, Aviva Gardenia, Phoenix Energy, and Krystal Rain. Each handmade soap comes gift-packaged with seasonal charm. LOVE these--they smell incredible! 

Sands of Time Charms & Trinkets

Corked glass bottles on leather cords. Each bottle contains an hourglass charm, which has "burst" to release the same substance from Taz's necklace--the Sands of Time. I'm also making figurine-versions of these with little tags or scrolls that explain the legend of the Sands of Time. Here they are so far, minus the scrolls.

 The super-sized version. Or maybe just a close-up. 

So there you have it. For the record I am NOT trying to start a business selling Chasing Echoes products. I teach for a living--that's enough of a livelihood for me. These little crafts were simply designed to add more unrefined charm to my author's booth at outdoor events, and pull away from that look of stiff professionalism that you see at a lot of author's tables. I'll post pictures of my booth all put together in a future post. Until then, I challenge any author reading this to make one "product" to go along with your book (assuming you're like me with nothing better to do over summer but indulge in this kind of nonsense). Even if you have no intention of selling or displaying said-item, do it because a) It's fun, and b) It re-lights that fire for your novel.

Sunday, June 14, 2015


EntanglementEntanglement by Dan Rix
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is the second book I've read by Dan Rix. Last week I finished reading Broken Symmetry, and I enjoyed that novel so much that I immediately dove into Entanglement. I'll admit, I'm a little underwhelmed. The things that impressed me the most about Broken Symmetry simply weren't there for Entanglement. While Broken Symmetry follows a set of rules which lends authenticity to the story, Entanglement's governing rules are inconsistent, which gives the story less credibility and makes it more difficult to follow.

One of my biggest problems was the lack of adult presence in this book. It sounds like a small thing, but it was just...odd. Where were Aaron's parents throughout the story? The fact that Clive and his sidekick were able to burst into Aaron's house, breaking windows and creating a ruckus, yet neither one of Aaron's parents wake's a pretty big suspension of belief. And wouldn't his parents confront their son the following day about the broken window? Wouldn't they also want to know why Aaron's car was trashed earlier in the novel? Or why Aaron is beat to hell? Aaron's parents didn't even make an appearance at his Ceremony of Halves--something that's supposed to be the biggest moment of their son's life.

It's downright bizarre. We have 17 and 18 year olds bullying each other, fighting, even killing, and yet the adults (other than a couple from the Brotherhood) are completely absent from this story with no explanation offered as to why.

There were other holes too, little areas where details were skipped. For example, in one scene Clive and Amber are on their way to their honeymoon, and in the next scene, she's paying an unsolicited visit to Aaron. How did she get from point A to point B without Clive interfering? I actually thought I had skipped a page or two, because there was simply NO WAY the insanely controlling Clive would allow his Half to drive off without him to meet his nemesis. But evidently, Clive did.

The ending was also a little bit of a let down. I'm a total fan of happy endings, and I'm glad Rix opts for them as well, but I really wanted to see Aaron and Amber pave a new path in their dystopian world by making the decision to love each other despite their obstructed clairvoyant channels. In the beginning of the novel, both characters seemed to despise the idea of halves and mourned for the days when people had the freedom to choose whom to love. This seemed to be setting up for an awesome ending of Aaron and Amber breaking the mold by loving someone who isn't their half. The epilogue hints at this possibility; it's a shame that it's not fleshed out.

Still, I have to give Entanglement three stars for a great plot concept and beautiful writing (seriously, Rix is a master of the written word. His descriptions are gorgeous). I look forward to reading more of his work. 

Thursday, June 11, 2015