Tag Archives: Shades of Green

Book Ratings Are Tricky Things

Book ratings are tricky things. I think the thing which contributes the most to their trickiness is time.

How much I (or you, I’m betting) enjoy a particular book has a lot to do with when I read it. How old I am, what’s going on in my life, what book I read just before it. These are all things that alter how I feel about a book. For example, when I set up my Goodreads account however long ago, I couldn’t stand having an empty virtual bookshelf but I certainly wasn’t about to go through and add every book I could remember reading. My compromise was for me to add the books from the shelf nearest to me (or maybe the two nearest me, I don’t remember). Adding the books was easy enough, but rating them was a little trickier.

Between about the ages of 11 and 13 I read a lot of VC Andrews. A LOT. I devoured them. Now, if I were to read them today I suspect I would like them only slightly more than I did Twilight, which is to say, not very freaking much. But I’d loved them then, so how should I rate them?

I think, in the end, I gave them 5 stars because when I read them, I loved them.

Thus, I say again, book ratings are tricky things…and if you look at my Goodreads bookshelf and the stars I gave a particular book make you scratch your head because it seems out of character? Remember that time totally has to play a part.

Book reviews are also tricky things. I am not very good at writing them but there are loads of people who are. One of those people is Fate, the blogger behind The Fickle Hand of Fate. Fate agreed to review Shades of Green.

Rhonda’s strength definitely looks to be in the area of plotting, (Twists! Reversals! A totally unexpected ending, but still a square peg in a square hole!) and worldbuilding…

Fate didn’t love it unconditionally, however. You should read her complete review here. She makes a lot of very good points, which I should totally address in another blog entry because this one is getting a bit long 😉

Oh, and the picture? I took it. That flower is the result of some ‘blooming tea’. I like tea while I read…and um…yeah, that’s as strong as the connection gets to the content of the blog I’m afraid. It’s pretty though, no?

Coffee Time Romance Review

The lovely Lototy from Coffee Time Romance reviewed Shades of Green today. She gave it 3 coffee cups out of five. She articulates the issues she has with the story, the ending especially I think, but also has some nice things to say like:

The visuals in this story are most amazing, and keep you intrigued with the characters as well as their environment.

You can read her complete review by clicking on the picture above, or by clicking here 🙂

In other news, my friend Scott’s book BREATHERS is on the ballot for a Stoker award this year, and the award ceremony is this weekend. Good luck Scott (it’s not bad luck to say that, I hope). I’ll be thinking of you 🙂

Bad Rhonda

This is Absinthe. I’m currently sitting on the sofa while I work and she is pressed up against my side being an adorable little purr-ball.

Shortly after I made my blog post yesterday Kari Wolfe from Imperfect Clarity posted an interview she’d done of me a while back. It might be interesting to you. You can see it here.

Also? I’m bad. I totally forgot to mention that I am giving away three copies of Shades of Green on Goodreads. You can enter to win by clicking here. Also, while you’re there why not friend me? My profile is here and I’d love to have some more friends over there. I really enjoy seeing what people are reading and quite often pick up books based on recomendations from my friends.

Reviews and Ramblings

March is a crazy month around here. It really is and it always has been. My birthday and two of my siblings birthdays are all in March. Now that I’m a grown up (in theory anyway) it’s still frenetic. Jo’s birthday is in March, as are several members of our extended family. It’s also exam time at the university which means Jo is really, really busy at work. Between setting the exams, help sessions, supervising exams, marking them and answering loads and loads of student’s emails there’s not a whole lot of ‘down’ time. As if that weren’t enough, schools always seem to plan things for March; meetings, info sessions, student performances…

It’s crazy!

We’re halfway through though, which is yay!

I heard back from Clarion, they said thanks but no thanks. I also applied to Clarion West and am waiting to hear back from them with my fingers crossed. I’d prefer CW over Clarion, actually, so I’m not overly disappointed about Clarion. Besides, did you see who’s teaching there this year? I bet the competition was pretty crazy. Which is not to imply it isn’t for CW as well.

I will be disappointed if I don’t get into Clarion West, but not destroyed. This is a good thing. A very good thing. I want to go, but I don’t -need- to go. We’ll see what happens 🙂

While I wait I’m writing a lot. I’m doing a pretty good job of sticking with my plan to write each morning when I have my coffee. So far as a result I’ve got one poem, a pretty darn good short story and have almost finished another short. They are all first drafts, but since I find revising easier than getting the first draft done, that’s a pretty big hurdle. I’ll be sharing the second short story (in all it’s first draft glory, I’m afraid) with my newsletter readers…tomorrow. I won’t have time to finish it today.

The last (but, as they say, not least) thing I wanted to share today was this. It’s a review of Shades of Green, this time by an unbiased reviewer. Zeek from The Way I See It reviewed Shades of Green and, for the most part, he liked it. He said some nice things about the story, including that he enjoyed the world and could see how it would be the springboard for more stories, and also made me smile with this.

…there is much potential and its obvious the author has her craft honed already, so in the end this story gets a 3.9 out of 5 from me.

I like it when people think I have honed my craft. I know I have so much more to learn, but it’s wonderful to feel as though I’m progressing steadily.

Oh, and what’s with the picture of the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco? Nothing. I took it last summer when we were on vacation and I like it. That’s all.

A New Review

As Ms. Parrish is apt to do, every word feels intentionally and methodically chosen for its effect on the reader, be it emotional or visual.  And as Z’thandra goes about her daily routine and is spit on and wrongfully accused of different actions, we want her to be able to escape the madness surrounding her.  The ending of the story… The end is simply beautiful.

That is part of Kari Wolfe’s review of Shades of Green. She likes it, she really likes it 🙂 Yay! You can read the whole review here if you’re so inclined. I got the google alert about her post while I was playing WoW. We were in the middle of the apothecary boss fight in SFK and was so distracted reading the review that I (being the healer of our group) accidentally let the DK’s ghoul die. (Sorry David). Still, yay!

Nice Things

I’ve never actually considered my stories my babies (I only have one of those and her name is Danica) but I do want people to like them, so it makes me happy when they do. There’s another review of Shades of Green available for anyone who’d like to check it out. Aubrie, of Book Reviews by Aubrie, had this to say:

Shades of Green is a unique and unsettling tale of life after an apocalypse. The descriptions are exotic and fun to read, and I felt for Z’thandra’s plight throughout. Amongst all of the prejudice and hatred she is able to forgive, and that is truly heroic. The ending is unexpected and left me with much to think about. This is no fluffy fantasy tale, but a powerful and emotional journey with a profound message at the end.

Needless to say, that put a big smile on my face 🙂 You can read the full review here.

There are also two interviews of yours truly that went live today. Firstly at Amber Stults’ website I answer questions about Shades of Green as well as what I’m currently working on. You can read that here. Some of Amber’s questions really made me think, like when she asked if I’d intentionally make the Reptars less alien than I might have.

Then over at Aubrie’s blog I answered questions about my writing process, being the editor of Niteblade and, of course, a bit about Shades of Green. You can read that one here.

I always stress about interviews because I’m never sure that my tone of…erm…voice(?) comes through in them. I did ask Jo to read these ones and tell me if I sounded like a moron. He responded with ‘You sound like yourself’ which didn’t really answer my question, but I’ll take it 😉

Release Day :)

Today is the official release day for Shades of Green. I’m a weird mixture of feelings including nervous, excited and disbelieving. Plus I’m stressy and worried about non-book related stuff.

I’m nervous and excited for sort of obvious reasons. One of my stories is being shared with the world and it’s my first physical book. How could that not inspire nerves and excitement?

It’s still not completely real to me yet, I think that will change once my author’s copies reach me (stupid post taking for freaking ever to get from the US to me). So yes…it’s a bit unreal still, but hopefully soon that will change. *crosses fingers*

In a happy coincidence green is my daughter’s favorite color and last night she and I spent some time dyeing her hair green (not all of it…just much of it). Unfortunately the dye didn’t take as well as we had hoped and this morning she has lime green streaks instead of dark green. She seems happy with it, but I still get to stress a little bit (it’s what I do). I hope she doesn’t get teased. As we were doing her hair we were talking about how it’s funny my book is called Shades of Green and she was going to have shades of green in her hair for its launch day. That was nice.

Oh, another source of stress? My husband is sick.

So it’s a weird day already…and a weird blog entry. I just thought I’d give a little peek inside my brain today. I hope I didn’t bore you.

I do have good book-related news to share too 🙂

Firstly, thank you to everyone who entered the draw to win a copy of Shades of Green. You all really made me smile. Thank you. Alas, I could only pick one winner and the random number generator says that person is Alexa. Congratulations Alexa, you win a copy of Shades of Green. Email me (rhonda@jofigure.com) with your snail mail address please 🙂

Secondly, the first review of Shades of Green is in, and I’m happy to say it’s a positive one 🙂 Amber Stults has a review up in which she says:

The ending is a bit of a surprise but it’s what sets the story apart from similar tales.  It ties things up neatly in a way that isn’t obvious on a first reading.  If you want to lose yourself in the story of the last Swamp Elf for an hour or two this is the novelette to pick up.

You can read the whole review here. If you pop over to her website tomorrow as well she will have an interview with me. It’s less scattered than this blog entry. Honest.

Now I’m going to go be unfocused some more in a less public location. :O)

Shades of Green Giveaway

I wanted to think of a fun and creative contest to hold in order to give away a copy of Shades of Green. I really did. The problem was, I totally blanked on fabulous giveaway ideas. Like, completely. I still wanted to give away a copy of the book though, it’s my first physical book, how could I not want to sign and show it off? 🙂

In the end I’ve decided on something very simple. If you reply to this (whether you’re reading it at livejournal or on my blog at rhondaparrish.com) with your favorite thing that is a shade of green I’ll enter your name into a draw to win a copy of the book. Easy peasy, right?

So speak up, what do you like that is green? Frogs? Leaves? Key lime pie?

I’ll draw a name on February first, which is the day Shades of Green is officially released 🙂

SF or Fantasy?

I wrote Shades of Green as a fantasy story set in Aphanasia. That’s the same fictional world many of my stories are set, (Sister Margaret being the only one published at the moment) but Shades of Green takes place long before any of them. The story has swamp elves, humans and reptars (lizard-dudes).

I was very surprised to find that my publisher had read Shades of Green as a science fiction story with characters who, rather than being fantasy creatures, were instead, aliens.

It’s given me a fair bit to think about. What does it say about the reader/writer partnership when something like this happens? And really, what are the differences between fantasy and science fiction? Does it matter? Did I, as the writer, fail to make my setting clear enough to the reader? Are elves alien creatures?

When I am shopping for books I am far less likely to buy something called a science fiction novel than I am to buy one labeled fantasy. What does that say about my preconceived ideas?

I’m going to be pondering these things for a while to come, I expect, and will be interested in what other people think once they’ve had a chance to read the book.

What about you? Are you more likely to read a book described as fantasy or science fiction, or does it matter to you?

Incidentally, I would be a bad author if I failed to mention that it is available for pre-ordering now at Genre Mall. I don’t want to be a bad author 🙂

Welcome 2010

So, it’s a whole new year. That’s what the calendar says anyway.

I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions. There’s no clever reason for it, I just don’t. Perhaps it’s just to be contrary. In fact, when we quit smoking several years back my husband and I made a point of doing it on December 30th rather than waiting a day or two because we didn’t want people to mistakenly think it was a New Year’s thing. Yeup. We really are that ornery 🙂

Still, this year is looking like it might be better than its predecessor. I feel like I’m beginning to crawl out of the grip of the depression I’d been fighting with over recent months. That’s a good thing for so many reasons, the least of which is not that it means writing is easier for me, it’s less of a struggle to focus and things might actually get done. Might.

Also, I have some upcoming publications I’m excited about. Shades of Green is obviously near the top of that list, but there’s also the six word memoir book from Harper’s Perrenial and a lot of poetry. I love the work I did for the November poem-a-month challenge and while I’m still working on placing most of it, I’m ridiculously excited to share it with you all. Soon, I hope. Soon.

What about you? What are you excited about for this coming year?