Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Review: The Death Cure by James Dashner

I just finished listening to the Death Cure by James Dashner on CD. It's the last book in the Maze Runner series. This book had a lot of action, (which I enjoy)  but less humor than the others, (The humor has been one of my favorite things about the books). The characters escape from Wicked and run around the city fighting cranks and citizens and looking to join up with the Right Arm and defeat Wicked. I wanted to cry when something bad happens to one of my favorite characters, but James does a nice job resolving and ending the series without wrapping up everything in a nice, neat package with a pretty bow, so the ending is satisfying and believable—and leaves room for more? The series is one of my favorites and I look forward to the Maze Runner movie coming out.

Book 3: The Death Cure

Thomas knows that Wicked can’t be trusted, but they say the time for lies is over, that they’ve collected all they can from the Trials and now must rely on the Gladers, with full memories restored, to help them with their ultimate mission. It’s up to the Gladers to complete the blueprint for the cure to the Flare with a final voluntary test. What Wicked doesn’t know is that something’s happened that no Trial or Variable could have foreseen. Thomas has remembered far more than they think. And he knows that he can’t believe a word of what Wicked says. The time for lies is over. But the truth is more dangerous than Thomas could ever imagine. Will anyone survive the Death Cure.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Author Training and Contest

I'm entering this contest to refer 20 people to author Candace Salima's Author Training workshop. It sounds amazing. If you're interested, go to her website and make a comment and tell her I referred you. Thanks!

I am running a contest to help people who want...
Candace E. Salima4:37pm Aug 23
I am running a contest to help people who want to attend the author training, but can't afford it right now. If you refer 20 people to the event, and they post a comment on my blog saying who referred them, and they quote one thing from the post, you will be eligible for one of 2 scholarship spots to the training. I will tally the comments on the blog and award the scholarships on Sunday evening at 5:00 p.m.
Turning the Tide...: Author Training by Candace Salima Flyer
Join talk show host and author, Candace Salima, as she walks you through the possibilities of life, ...

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Guest Blog: The Health Benefits of Natural Yeast, by Caleb Warnock

Health Benefits of Natural Yeast

© 2012 Caleb Warnock. The contents of this blog post are not in the public domain and may not be used without the express written permission of the author.

Few people realize that the yeast in grocery stores is not a naturally-occurring substance. Laboratory created in 1984, the yeast sold today is so foreign to our digestive systems that some people develop allergies to the yeast itself. This quick-rising yeast appears increasingly connected to the nutritional and digestive disorders that plague so many. Natural yeast flattens the glycemic index, takes away heartburn and acid reflux forever, helps prevent or reverse gluten intolerance and, in some cases, full-blown Celiac’s disease, turns natural phytic acid into an anti-oxidant, controls allergies, and turns flour into a yeast that is both pre-biotic and pro-biotic.

Beyond health benefits, natural yeast is simple to use, costs nothing, tastes wonderful, completely cuts out the need to buy commercial yeast, and drastically reduces the need for baking powder and baking soda. You can easily use it not only to make bread, but also waffles, pancakes, breadsticks, pizza dough, scones, rolls, and even old-fashioned root beer.

Yeast is a single-celled fungus, and the first domesticated living creature in history. Modern science has identified more than 1,000 different varieties of wild yeast. These organisms are so small that hundreds of millions, if not billions, fit into a single teaspoon.

Wild yeast is everywhere -- in the air you breathe, on the bark of trees, on leaves. Ever seen the white film on backyard grapes? That’s wild yeast. The same film can be found of juniper berries. For centuries, both berries have been used as natural “start” for bread yeast.

But not all yeast varieties are the same. For example, the kind of yeast used to make beer is not the same kind of yeast used to make bread. Different natural yeasts have different flavors -- some are strongly sour, some are mildly sour, and some are not sour at all. Natural yeast is sometimes mistakenly referred to as sourdough, but with the right strain of yeast, it doesn’t have to be sour unless that is the flavor you prefer. Some natural yeasts are better are raising bread than others. This is why the best strains of natural yeast has been passed down through generations and communities. Hundreds of people around the nation have gotten free, non-sour natural yeast starts from me. 

Until the 19th century, homemade yeast was the only kind there was. In 1857 Louis Pasteur discovered that living organisms -- yeasts -- were responsible for fermentation. Yeast was already an important business, even though no one had understood how it worked. The production of commercial yeast began in France in the 1850s. In the U.S., compressed yeast cakes were introduced to the nation at Philadelphia’s Centennial Exposition in 1876 , which drew 10 million visitors. When America entered World War II, yeast companies developed dry yeast for the military which did not require refrigeration. And then in 1984, rapid-rising yeast was invented in U.S. laboratories.

Today that yeast has all but replaced natural yeast. But not everyone is convinced that the convenience of super-fast yeast outweighs the health benefits of the slow rising process of natural yeast.

A word of caution. If you type “sourdough starter” into Google, you will get hundreds of recipes for starting “sourdough” from commercial yeast. But very little grocery store yeast is now true natural yeast. The best way to get real natural yeast is from someone using a documented strain. The author, Caleb Warnock, mails flakes of natural “sweet” yeast to anyone who requests them at no charge, along with instructions for growing out the yeast. And once you have a start of natural yeast, you can have it for the rest of your life. You can dry it, freeze it, keep it in the fridge, or grow it on your kitchen counter. To get a start of the author’s documented 200-year-old strain of natural yeast, send an email to calebwarnock.yahoo.com.

Here is the link to my blog, and you can click on the cover of the new cookbook to look inside the book. Not to press my luck, but if you order two copies, the shipping is FREE!


Friday, August 10, 2012

Become A Star In Darkspell's Sequel

    Want to be written in as a character in Elizabeth Mueller's sequel to Darkspell? Then read on:
                    Become a book star in Darkspell's sequel!
Darkwraith is soon to be in production and Elizabeth Mueller, author of Darkspell, is looking to write you in! If you're interested in auditioning, or looking for a way to surprise a loved one, please click here.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Book Hooks

Over at writingsnippets.com you can listen to our writer's group podcast with one of our favorite author's, M. L. Forman, on book hooks. Learn what a hook is, how to write one, what makes a good/bad hook, where to place hooks in your book, etc.

Also, let us know what you think by  making a comment on his interview at writingsnippets.com and we'll enter you in a contest to win one or more of his books or audio books in his Adventurers Wanted series.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Book Bomb: Nightingale, by David Farland

Aug. 3rd: David Farland is having a book bomb today to celebrate all the awards hfor his book Nightingale has won and I'm participating by blogging about it. 

To participate, please purchase a copy of Nightingale through Amazon today. Those who purchase multiple copies will be rewarded. Remember, you can buy an extra copy for a friend or family member, or to donate to a local library, school, or shelter.

Book Bomb Rewards
If you order 5 copies, you will get a free t-shirt.
If you order 10 copies, you will get a t-shirt and a signed copy
The person who orders the MOST copies will win a T-shirt and a signed, limited edition of Nightingale.

Help us make this book bomb awesome by telling and inviting others. You can do this through facebook, twitter, or your blog. 

Right now, Dave is giving away a mini-anthology at nightingalenovel.com, which includes the winning story of the Nightingale short story contest, "Forcible Powerdown" by S. James Nelson, and one of Dave's own short stories "Against Eternity"  

Some people sing at night to drive back the darkness. Others sing to summon it. . . .

Bron Jones was abandoned at birth. Thrown into foster care, he was rejected by one family after another, until he met Olivia, a gifted and devoted high-school teacher who recognized him for what he really was--what her people call a "nightingale."

But Bron isn't ready to learn the truth. There are secrets that have been hidden from mankind for hundreds of thousands of years, secrets that should remain hidden. Some things are too dangerous to know. Bron's secret may be the most dangerous of all.

In his remarkable young adult fantasy debut, David Farland shows why critics have called his work "compelling," "engrossing," "powerful," "profound," and "ultimately life-changing."

Let's help Dave's book bomb "explode" into a huge success!