Sunday, May 29, 2011

Book Review: Six O'Clock

I just finished Katrina Spencer's first novel, Six O'Clock and I must say, I LOVED IT!

Okay, I will give a fair review of the book.  At the beginning, I did not see where it was going.  Because it was titled Six O'Clock and early on the reader was told that "Six O'Clock" was the character Yolanda's nickname, I thought it would simply be about her.  But the book takes on multiple POVs (personally, my favorite way to write) and so we got to see what her friends, her enemies, her love interest and everyone else in between were thinking.  I like that, but sometimes it could have gotten overwhelming. You had to go back a few lines to catch who's POV you were in, but mostly there were nice transitions between POV switch.

Once the book got good and going, I was loving it! Knowing the other character's POVs moved the story along.  It just had to be written this way!!  Another thing I don't like much in novels is when the main character is so naive, or so vulnerable...which Yolanda was, but it worked here.  It's like I wanted to shake some sense in Yolanda and be like, "Girl, stop being so trusting!" She had some sass in her too, just not enough in the beginning.  I like sassy characters!

This was actually the FIRST novel I ever read I discussed with my kids! What? Why? Because it was actually kid friendly (none of mine would past muster there).  And it actually had a "moral to the story" type of feel.  The main character, Yolanda, is super thin, but there was also issues with an overweight female character, a non-attractive female (I'm too nice to call someone ugly), and the drop-dead gorgeous female. Who would you date? Would you be turned off on things they could not change, if they were truly a nice person? Too thin, but pretty face? Big girl, but attractive to you?

I asked my 12 year old son who is just starting to like girls, and he likes girls A LOT, what would he think of a character like Yolanda.  He notices breasts, and butts and pretty long hair, all that.  He initially said "No way!" he would not like a skinny girl.  Then I gave him the option of an overweight girl versus someone not really pretty.  Tough decisions. And I am not teaching him to be vain, but I have to admit, it would be a tough decision for me.  Initially, if I am not attracted to you, I don't want to spend anytime with you...not even giving you a chance.  But in Six O'Clock I see that we should look beyond the outside appearance and really get to know someone before we make that decision.

I liked how everything wrapped up at the end of the novel. I was literally in tears and reciting lines to my kids.  I told my daughter, this is what you want a man to say to you!

I think Katrina did a good job with this book!  It was a feel good story.  From the middle to the end I could not put the book down!  Loved it! Now I cannot wait to read her next one, Unbeweavable, the title along intrigues me.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Read more, write more

Taking a break from continuing the Icee/Kitty story chapters.

So last week I did it! I sent off a query, synopsis and first three chapters to a publisher.  And not just any publisher. This is a local publishing company and I like that because I can meet face to face with the publisher.  I was given her info from a friend who knows her personally, so hopefully that pulls some weight.

In the mean time, I am trying to read as much as I can, any writer, every genre from, all spectrum's of the rainbow.  I just finished Danielle Steel's "Big Girl."  I liked it, but it's not the best book she has ever written. The writing style was different than many books I like. Mainly narrative and it spanned SEVERAL years. From before the main character was born will she was like 30 years old (I skimmed the end, read the last chapter, it kinda was predictable).

Now I have Katrina Spencer's "Six O'Clock."  I will do a full book review of this book!  I am twitter friends with Katrina and I know she would love to read my feedback.  I actually got the idea to read more from her blog.  Go follow Katrina Spencer.

I bought several books and will try and post reviews of them all.  I'm finding that reading, even when I do not particularly care for the book, is helping me as a writer.  I'll continue to review Icee/Kitty chapters because it helps me sort through all the mess.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

U Da Winner

Chapter five, or what I like to call it, "Icee gets the girl!"

Ha! Yes, this is the chapter where Icee FINALLY makes Kitty his new girl friend.  But first the chapter goes down like this.

After Kitty "Cinderella'd" him at the club, he lets her know that he wants to be with her.  He throws a big bash at his club and invites her and her twin.  When Kitty arrives, he swoops her away and they share their first kiss.  He tells her that he dumped Bonnie Walker and wants to try a "normal" relationship with a down home girl.  And Kitty says....

"Icee, look here, I want to be your girl too, but this celibacy thing, it’s for real. Can you handle that?"

Can he??

"But just how celibate is this celibate thing? No sex, as in sex sex, or oral sex, or what? Help a brotha out!"

In Kitty's words, celibate is no sex period. None with her, none with groupies.  Icee is cool with that, he thinks.

For the rest of the night, Kitty enjoys being part of the Fact Iz crew and Icee's girl friend.  She tells him he has found "Da Winner" a phrase Icee has frequently used in many of his songs. Oh yeah, he also has a iced out chain that says "Winner."

Kitty invites him to attend church with him the next day. Icee invites her to hang out at his house with the rest of the Facts as they continue to party all night long.

It's going to be a long night!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Fact Iz This

Chapter four: Fact Iz This

Yes, I am continuing with naming each chapter a song that the group Fact Iz has recorded.  "Fact Iz This" is on their first album and it is a total group collaboration where each of the six members raps a line throughout the song.  In the song, (also the title of their first album), the rappers are giving their listeners a chance to know about them as a group, and a little about each of their personalities.

In this chapter, Icee has not given up on Kitty.  He can't stop thinking of her, so he continues to call her and they get to know each other over the phone.  Kitty is desiring more, but she knows she can't give in when this superstar celebrity not only has a girl friend, but also is obsessed with sex.

Icee is not taking no for an answer.  Even though he travels 90% of the time, he makes a point to make it back to Springfield to see her.  At his club, they hang out and he thinks he can break her.  Kitty almost falls for his charm  Any girl would be lucky to have his attention, right?

The chase continues...

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Show Me Mo

This is chapter 3. "Show Me Mo" is the song that lets everyone know that Fact Iz is from the Show Me State, Missouri.  Get it, "Show Me Mo."

Anyway, in this chapter, Icee and Kitty begin to connect over the phone.  In just one conversation they find things in common.

1. They both grew up and love their home city, Springfield, MO (though Icee was born in St. Louis, who moved to Springfield when he was five)
2. They both lost someone very close to them. Icee his brother, Kitty her mother.

And Icee learns several things he likes about Kitty. One, that she is a no nonsense type of girl. Two, she has a LARGE family of five sisters (Six Sexy A$$ Sisters first mention) and three, she runs her own personal training business and is determined to conquer the world.  He loves all that!

What he does like is, she's a good Christian girl which means:
No drinking or smoking
No cursing
and NO SEX

Okay, so maybe Icee is in way over his head.  As he likes to say, "I like all three of the above especially the last."

She's too much for him, and he decides to move on.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

...Quit It

That's about all of the title of chapter two I dare to post.

The name of the song is "Lick It, Hit It, Split It, Quit It."  You gotta know Icee and the rest of Fact Iz.  Basically they rap about what every other rapper in the universe raps about: women, sex, money, cars.

In chapter two, Icee and Kitty are still at the club that first night.  In Icee's POV, he is lusting for Kitty and all he want is to (name of the song).  He thinks she is just another groupie that would do anything to be with him.  So he tries...and he tries...and he tries....

Also in the chapter, Kitty and TA begin their flirtation.  It's obvious TA is also attracted to her, but she plays him off as a friend because she just has eyes for Icee.  Nevermind the fact that Icee has a longtime girl friend, Bonnie Walker.  So after hanging with Fact Iz all night, the twins call it a night.

Icee thinks he can crack her, so they exchange numbers and the chase is on.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Hot Flash

I'll just break it down chapter by chapter, this Icee/Kitty love story (yes, I still have not decided on a title). 

Each chapter is titled off of a Fact Iz rap song...or later, an Icee R&B song.  Since most of the novel takes place in the hip hop/entertainment business, think of these songs as the soundtrack.  I am trying to make the lyrics match the chapter, but even it it does not directly match, it goes with the general idea of the story and the concept of Fact Iz and Icee.  So far, there are a whole lot of chapters! And since I like small chapters, I am still splitting some, so I don't have a definite number of chapters.

The first chapter: Hot Flash

Icee owns a night club in their hometown that he and Fact Iz are partying at.  Icee spots Kitty in the VIP section and his first words to her are, "You are sexy as hell!"

The chase pursues.  Kitty had been infatuated with Icee and the Facts since they were still local.  In fact, she has a huge crush on Icee and is speechless as he stands before her.  It is her twin, Krystle that does most of the talking.  It's their birthday and they are out celebrating.

So Icee invites the twins to hang out and party with Fact Iz.  Several things in this chapter are important.

1. You meet Kitty and Icee and see the instant attraction
2. See how gorgeous Icee is through Kitty's eyes
3. Learn some back story about Fact Iz

It's a very short chapter and it just gives a brief setup of how big Icee and Fact Iz are.  The song "Hot Flash" is their current single off their third album.  It will later go on to win a Grammy.

Oh by the way, FACT IZ is an acronym of the rap group members.
Cra-Z (Icee's deceased brother)

See how non-creative I can be!  Stay tuned for Chapter 2, the title along is spicy!