2.16.2011

Release Party and Kirkus Review

Thanks to all that commented on my last post about names. I'm still in a bit of a bind as I continue the naming and creating process, but it's nice to have options. You're all swell. Now, on to some announcements and such. 

A. I'm going to be joining the LTUE conference for the first time in my career tomorrow, Friday, and Saturday. This conference is huge! That's why it is called LTUE (Life, the Universe, & Everything.) This year I'll be on 3 panels and doing a signing on Saturday with some pretty big names. Yikes! I don't even know what to expect. I'm nervous, nauseous, bloated, pale, clumsy, as I gear up for this event. You should come. Here's the link to the website so you can learn all about this glorious event. LINK Do you like how I just said link? I do.

2. My Release Party for the Guardians of the Hidden Scepter is just around the corner! March 10th, 6:00-8:00 pm at the Sandy Barnes and Noble (10180 S. State Street.) I stuck a countdown clock on the right. See it? This is huge for me. I can't tell you all that I went through to see this book come to life. Blood. Sweat. Tears. Spit. Phlegm. Yep. All that. I want you to be a part of it. No, not the phlegm and the blood and stuff you weirdos! I want you to be a part of this event. I say you, meaning all of you. I guess I could name you individually. Sally... Jesse... Leonardo (Ha! I know what you thought I was going to say, but I chose a different turtle.) Tell you what. Have you ever seen me draw a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle? I'm no artist, but I've got a knack for that little illustration. If you come to my signing and say the code word: Shredder. I'll draw one for you. Does it seem like I'm literally begging for you to come to this book signing/release party? Well I am. This book is my favorite. I know I should never single out a child, but this is my pride and joy. You'll like it I think. And if not, the cover's awesome. And there are some creepy things and explosions... guaranteed. 

D. My book received a review from Kirkus. Scary. Have you ever heard of Kirkus reviews? Well, I didn't until I started getting involved in writing and publishing. They're the real deal and they can be brutal. Don't believe me? Go to Kirkus reviews and read some of their reviews for books you know. I did and they don't pull any punches. Basically, if you can get a good review from Kirkus, you should pat yourself on the back. So when I saw they reviewed The Guardians of the Hidden Scepter I about passed out. Because come on. I'm not that swell of a writer. I don't want to knock myself, but you start doubting your ability when people start reading your stuff. Hashbrown got put through the ringer by several readers and yes I made voodoo dolls of those (unnamed) individuals, but ultimately I got over it. I was too worried to read this review, but after I did, I feel okay about it.  Yes, they were brutal at times (some of their wording hurts my feel bads), and of course I would much rather receive a glowing "starred" review, but according to my publisher, they were very pleased with it. All-in-all I think it's an okay review. What do you guys think? Be honest.

GUARDIANS OF THE HIDDEN SCEPTER
Author: Cole, Frank L

Review Date: February 1, 2011
Publisher:Bonneville BooksPages: 288Price ( Hardcover      ): $16.99Publication Date: March 1, 2011
ISBN ( Hardcover      ): 978-1-59955-448-8Category: Fiction


In this mystery adventure, four star students struggle to save the world when their slightly eccentric teacher vanishes, leaving cryptic messages behind; they have only their ingenuity and expertise to solve the puzzles. Fifteen-year-old Amber relates the unfolding drama as she is joined by her friends: fashionista Lisa, techno-whiz Trendon and imperturbable Joseph. Apparently Ms. Holcomb knew she was heading for what appears to be a possible kidnapping, but she is less concerned with being rescued than she is with the safety of a powerful artifact—the Tebah Stick—connected to the original Ark of the Bible. Heavy with Indiana Jones overtones, the relic is both hugely powerful and sought by evildoers who want to use the power of the Tebah Stick to rule the world. Chance and knowledge combine to help the kids work out the clues as danger increases. Astute readers will find the clues a mixture of the opaque and the easy, but this is not realistic fiction, and the complications and daring escapades take it a big step beyond Nancy Drew or the Hardy Boys in excitement. The dire consequences of failing are so exaggerated that solving the puzzles may not be much fun for readers, but those who favor a little fantasy element in their mystery will enjoy the ride. (Adventure. 11-15)
  

Personally, I absolutely hate the line "the dire consequences of failing are so exaggerated that solving the puzzles may not be much fun for readers." Why did they say that?? Couldn't they have just passed on that little tidbit? Yes, there is a lot of over-the-top action in this book (explosions, death, creepy things in the dark), but it is fun and cool. That's what they should've said.

Kirkus: "This book is fun and cool." (Adventure. 11-15)

I don't know, criticism is good I suppose. 

For now, I'm only going to add these lines from the review to advertise my book:

"...the complications and escapades take it a big step beyond Nancy Drew or the Hardy Boys in excitement."

and

"... those who favor a little fantasy element in their mystery will enjoy the ride."

oh, and one of my all time favorites:

"Heavy with Indiana Jones overtones..."

Yes, that quote may be taken out of context, but heck yeah! Indiana Jones??? 

But since you all are my loyal followers and readers, I didn't pull any punches and allowed you to read it in it's entirety. Makes you respect me more doesn't it? Makes you want to read the book and decide for yourself if it is indeed "Heavy with Indiana Jones overtones" doesn't it? Makes you want to come to my release party and say the code word Shredder doesn't it?

Bonus points for whoever can spot the "Home Alone" reference in this blog post.

8 comments:

A.J. Dub. said...

Unfortunately I have deliberately blocked any remnants of Home Alone that might have wedged themselves into my brain so I did not get your reference.
I am going to do my best to convince some Utah relative to show up and snag me a book or 2 (I still need my HbW#3).
Good luck with the signing.
I thought the review was rather enticing, by the way.

LearningRx said...

I wish I lived in Utah--I would totally come to your book signing. BUT, since I don't and therefore can't, I'll stick with my awesome signed copies. :) You MADE Matthew's day with the signed book. This was his first signed copy of a book, so you officially rock in his world. We'll keep spreading the word here at LearningRx about you in Georgia!!

Tia said...

Well, congrats on getting a Kirkus review! Some of the things I read made me think, "Is that a good thing or a bad thing?"
You're a great writer and I'm sure you have an exciting future ahead!
And I couldn't find the home alone reference. Please share.

snlim said...

Ah! I can't believe that your release party in the same night as parent teacher conferences. Now I can't go and say 'shredder' to you :( Will you still honor the code word when you come to Oak Hollow late in March?

Heidi said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Frank Cole said...

AJ - I look forward to seeing your Utah followers. :)
LearningRx - I wished you lived in Utah too, but Georgia rocks! Look for my Guardians book at the Barnes and Noble there. It should be there soon. I hope.
Tia - Yeah, I asked myself the same questions when I read the review. According to my publisher, some criticism is good because it makes it all the more real. No book is perfect I guess. And I can't share just yet. Come on. None of you see the Home Alone reference? Really?
snlim - I will always honor the code. Especially for Oak Hollow! The kids there are awesome!

Reader Riah said...

I found it. It took a while to realize it was from Home Alone though. At first I just thought you were crazy. :) I won't spoil it though, unless you want me to.

Laura said...

It was fun to see you at LTUE this weekend Frank. Thanks for signing my Guardians book. I wish I had known that you draw TMNTs. I would've had you put one on the book too. Oh well, I'll just have to make it to the release party and get it done there. Good luck!