Friday, December 28, 2012

Does A Great Book Always Need a Happy Ending? Guest blog with Marie Harbon

December 28 Guest blog
Fang-tastic Books

December 29 Spotlight
Monique Morgan

December 30 New Year’s Resolutions and Tips for Writers

December 31 Guest blog
Lisa’s World of Books

January 1 Happy New Year Guest blog
The Creatively Green Write at Home Mom

January 2 Promo
Pure Textuality

January 3 Guest blog
Monique Morgan

January 5 Promo/Spotlight

January 10 interview
I know that Book.

January 15 Guest blog
Butterfly-o-Meter Books

January 15 Feature Interview
Bewitching Book Tours Magazine

January 20 Interview
Roxanne’s Realm

January 22 Guest blog
Book Addict

January 25 Feature
Victoria Danann 

Does A Great Book Always Need a Happy Ending?

We all know the proverbial scenario; girl falls in love with boy, cowboy rides off into the sunset and the bad guy is defeated, followed by much rejoicing in the land. But, is a happy ending an essential ingredient for a great book or movie?

Lindsay Doran, film producer and missionary for mood-elevating movies got to the heart of that question in a recently published article. Many of her conclusions relate to the world of books too. While she didn’t want to create a rigid formula for a great movie, she wanted to challenge the Hollywood notion that a movie is only art if it ends badly and that you’ll only win an award if you write about misery.

One of her chief findings was that what audiences care about most are relationships and the positive resolution of them, so not so much the character winning, but sharing that accomplishment with a significant other. An example of this would be ‘The King’s Speech’, in which he conquers his stammer then shares the victory with his wife, daughters and the cheering crowds.

There is value in a story with a feel good factor; it’s a quick fix, literary or visual form of Prozac. Indeed, laughter trumps any drug but personally, I think the temporary lift in mood is soon forgotten. For a story with a lasting impression, there are other elements involved. Remember, in ‘Harry Potter And The Half Blood Prince’, Dumbledore dies. In ‘Titanic’, 1500 passengers go down with the ship and then Jack doesn’t make it either. As author Nike Marshall astutely puts it, ‘happy endings can be cliché and diminish the impact of the story. Less than happy is more believable’. Appropriate is a key word, concluding a story with a satisfactory, even less than ideal event or series of events. As author Emerald Barnes surmises, ‘Some stories don’t have the option of having a happy ending’.

As readers, we can engage with the lives of the characters and the conflicts, challenges and successes they encounter. We relate to other people to learn how they deal with these difficulties, as if it’s a kind of virtual reality simulation. This is one of the reasons soaps are so popular. The way a book ends is also a reflection on how we’d either like a situation to conclude, or a healthy scepticism in knowing ‘that’s life, what will be will be’.

‘Life is made up of pleasurable and horrific experiences and there’s nothing wrong with a book or movie telling a story that shines a light on our failures’.
Denise DeSio, author of ‘Roses’s Will’

As human beings, we like closure, to be able to shut the door on something, to file it away as a success or failure. This may be one of the reasons why cliff hanger endings in serials can be risky in the book world, because we don’t like situations in our own life to be unresolved.  Therefore, it’s important to strike a balance between wrapping up one phase while creating a lead to where the story will take the reader next. Season finales in TV series craft this well.

In the writing world, it’s always stated ‘show, don’t tell’ and this can tailor a beautiful conclusion where the reader is given the satisfaction of finality, yet their imagination is given the licence to create what happens next. As science fiction author, Glenn Scrimshaw puts it, ‘the legend of King Arthur works so well at that; a bitter sweet ending but the promise of Arthur’s return when needed.’

What everything is leading to is, in fact, the emotional involvement of the reader in the final moments of a story. Look back at the sadness of the death of Dumbledore, a character that readers were very attached to, or the tragedy of the huge loss of life in ‘Titanic’. As author Carlyle Labuschagne states, ‘I like drama and feeling like my heart is about to explode with sorrow’.

What we really want as readers, therefore, is a powerful climax after the build-up as opposed to a puft! The engagement of powerful emotions can leave a far greater impact on a reader than a chocolate box ending. There is something so compelling about tales of misery, because we all experience loss, even abuse in our lives or those close to us. Through a story, we can release that sadness in a positive way and observe how characters deal with their challenges. I believe there’s another factor at work too, it’s a quality called resilience’. A character who survives loss, abuse or tragedy may be far more inspiring than the traditional, commercial hero because it sends a powerful signal that infuses us to endure - ‘Whatever life throws at me, I’m still here. Bring it on!’

Seven Point Eight: The Second Chronicle 
Marie Harbon
Genre: Science Fiction, Science Fiction Adventure
Release date: December 2012

'The Truth Will Set You Free'

In the second instalment of the Seven Point Eight series, the legacy of the OOBE project weighs heavily on the conscience of Dr Paul Eldridge. Tahra Mamoun needs to muster all her courage and venture back into the alternate dimensions of reality. Through a series of challenging, surreal and frightening experiences, she comes to comprehend the destructive power she can yield and must face her own demons in the process.

Paul continues his quest to understand the ancient knowledge of the cosmos, while dark forces seek to hijack his research to further a secret agenda. With their lives in jeopardy, Paul and Tahra confront their enemies against an international backdrop featuring the pyramids of Giza and the peaks of Switzerland.

Meanwhile, Sam and Ava endeavour to uncover their past, even though it may irrevocably change their lives.

In a tale of courage and tragedy, love and betrayal, their lives are interwoven around the demons of one man, Max Richardson, who'll stop at nothing to achieve his objectives.

Written in the style of a TV series, Seven Point Eight draws together quantum physics, psychic powers, alternate dimensions, time travel, past lives, ancient wisdom and conspiracy in a soap opera for the soul.

Seven Point Eight: The Second Chronicle
Excerpt 6

She focused on the door, and felt a tingling sensation as the atoms of her consciousness oozed through the cherry oak. The illumination of a board room followed the momentary darkness. A large table dominated the room, around which fifteen seats were equally spaced, and a Japanese tea set took pride of place in the centre. The room’s décor suggested simplicity, the key feature being a large set of samurai swords, split between three walls. Tahra gazed at them, admiring their antiquity and military splendour.

The men took their seats, opened their briefcases and laid out some paperwork in neat piles, while the middle aged man positioned himself at the head of the table. Tahra assumed he was the bank manager. He spoke, although none of it made any sense to her. She watched from the shadows, observing how paperwork changed hands along with some fervent discussion. 

I wish I knew what they’re saying, she thought. Although it looks like they’re hammering out a deal. 

One of the men picked up a large briefcase from the floor, placed it on the table as if it were heavy and flicked open the clips.

I need a closer look, Tahra told herself.

Eager for an enhanced view of the proceedings, she homed her consciousness in on the briefcase and confirmed her expectations. Wads of Yen filled the briefcase, stacked neatly, extravagant value only established by the expression on the face of the bank manager. The bringer slid it across the table, and Tahra moved even closer.

At that point, the men stopped talking. 

Is the deal off? she wondered.

In unison, their heads turned towards one point in the room. This couldn’t be…

They can see me?

Their indignity at being disturbed quickly turned to terror. They babbled incoherently, eyes wide, mouth agape, brows furrowing. What scared them so much? Didn’t they like women? Looking down to see how she’d manifested, she couldn’t believe her eyes.


Her energy body had materialised in the physical world, in this very room. It glowed red, with an arterial network in magenta pulsing and glowing, alive with a raw vigour that she’d only seen in the other dimensions.

I look demonic. No wonder they’re afraid.

The men grabbed the papers from the table, stuffed them in their briefcases and scurried to the door, as if a monster had just broken into the room, intent on eating them. However, the bank manager didn’t frighten so easily. His lips set in a straight line, eyes zeroing in on Tahra, he reached up and slid one of the samurai swords from its sheath on the wall.

Normally, such a weapon would inflict critical damage on a mortal body, but as he swung it at her, the blade passed right through her. Not even a glitch in her energy body. As the blade failed to injure her, the bank manager’s face fell, babbling something in Japanese with a raised voice.

Tahra looked down again at her energy body, finding no damage. A malevolent smile spread across her face.

I’m invincible. I’m a God here too.

About the Author: 

Marie Harbon has worked in both the retail and fitness industry. She has a degree in sport and fitness, and taught group exercise for several years, delivering aerobics and Pilates. For two years, she delivered BTEC sport courses and has also instructed dance and sport with children.

Marie is a member of Nottingham Writers Studio, Her future plans include not only completing the 'Seven Point Eight' series, but involve writing YA, children's and adult books, short stories, novellas and scripts.

Aside from writing, Marie is a self-confessed fabric geek and purveyor of beautiful, often ostentatious bags, bustiers and clothing. She lives in the town of Eastwood, Nottinghamshire, which is in England.


Seven Point Eight: The Second Chronicle
Epic Winter Giveaway

Eternal Island (Book 1 in the Eternal Series)
K. S. Haigwood & Ella Medler

A place where vampires rule, witches play, danger lurks and dreams really do come true.

Human girl Ariana Lochalan finds herself transported from the relative calm of her ‘Nowhere, Arkansas’ life into a diametrically opposite existence when she discovers she is a powerful witch and meant to wed High Vampire of Eternal Island, Abe Cambridge. Despite first-sight magnetism, the two protagonists are being pushed apart, obstacles tripping them at every step, outside forces interfering and threatening their peace, and ultimately their lives. 

Would courage, resilience and love be enough to bring together two soul mates?

How much would you sacrifice to save the one who owns your heart?

Blood is Heavier
Ella Medler

Nick Hunter used to be a contract killer. Now he’s cut all links to his former lifestyle and can at last relax and live a normal life. He settles down to married life. He has a son. He adores his little family. Unbeknown to him, shadows from his past step forward to shatter his short-lived peace. His wife is dead, his four-year old son kidnapped and it looks like someone is trying to frame him for murder. Under pressure, broken, is there anything Nick wouldn’t do to rescue his son? Would he kill the villains, despite the promise to himself to stop his life of crime? Would he kill innocents? Would he hurt the people he loves most in his need to protect his son? A fast-paced, edge-of-your-seat read that will keep you turning the pages to the very end.

The Transient
M.W. Russell

She never believed. Not in ghosts, not in friendship, and especially not in love.

When Melodie Gibson moves half way around the world to upstate New York, her entire world turns upside down. Living in a quirky castle turned bed and breakfast, she finds herself confronted with someone watching her every move. That someone is Joseph, who captivates Melodie's heart, fulfilling her dreams and drawing her into his world—a world that is beautiful, magical… and treacherous. It will take all the courage Melodie has to face those who will stop at nothing to rip them apart.

From the pages of a Victorian gothic novel transplanted into modern times, The Transient is the first in The Castle Trilogy, a powerful fantasy romance series for teens.

Melissa Pearl

Beautiful, wild-child Nicole Tepper is hit by a car and left for dead. But when she wakes the next morning, Nicole finds herself in bed without a scratch. Perhaps she was more intoxicated than usual, as her mother is giving her the silent treatment and her friends are ignoring her as well. 

Things take a turn for the weird when Nicole soon discovers she is actually hovering between life and death. Her body is lying in the forest while her spirit is searching for anyone who can hear her. Unfortunately the only person who can is Dale Finnigan, the guy she publicly humiliated with a sharp-tongued insult that has left him branded.

Desperate, Nicole has no choice but to haunt Dale and convince the freaked-out senior to help her. Will he find her body before it's too late? Or will the guy who tried to kill her with his car, beat him there and finish her off before anyone finds out?

Foundling Wizard
James Eggebeen

For over a hundred years the priests of Ran have been killing young wizards to take their power. When Lorit learns that he has the Wizard’s Power he becomes targeted for special attention by the Temple.

Lorit must learn magic in time to save the sister he infused with his own power to save her life. He must find a way to overcome their stolen magic without resorting to their tactics.

Together he and the Sorceress Chihon battle to make the land safe for magicians everywhere. Can they defeat the Temple or will they succumb to the plot that would turn them into the most powerful of their enemies?

Paradox: The Angels Are Here
Patti Roberts

Paradox Series: A story within a story — a world within a world.

A little girl trapped between the Ancient world and the new is forced to deal with tragedy and death.
When your destiny has been written in blood, and you are left with one burning question… Do Guardian Angels come from Heaven or Hell?

Paradox: Progeny of Innocence
Patti Roberts

Two Worlds. One Ancient...  A World where powerful Beings from Ancient Civilizations still rule. A Realm Where Gods, Angels, Myths and Magic still exists.

And One New... Grace is not a little girl anymore! And as a teenager, Grace’s visions become more frequent, urgent, torturing her life further still. The answers she hopes to find in her visions only leave her asking more questions... Who is Juliette?

When the charismatic Damon Draco begins to take an interest in Grace, it doesn’t take long before Grace falls for his alluring charm. A charm she doesn't quite understand.

However, when Riley Rivers turns up in Grace's class one day, she starts to question the feelings she has for Damon.

When death comes knocking...and three of Grace’s school friends are found burned to death, and their parents die in a fatal car accident that same weekend, some start to wonder if it really was just a coincidence, or a contrived plan to wipe out an entire family?

And if so, why, and by whom? And more importantly, will evil strike again?

You can bet your soul on it!

Accountable to None
Ashley Fontainne

What if the unspeakable happened to you? Would you fantasize about seeking personal vengeance? How far would you go...and how much would you sacrifice to hold those responsible that believe they are accountable to none?

Welcome to the prestigious accounting firm of Winscott & Associates. Welcome to Audra Tanner's personal hell. She had heard the rumors about her employer. The whispered secrets. But she had thrown herself into work to escape the pain of her miscarriage and demise of her marriage. Idealistic, she thought if she worked hard she would be rewarded. She thought wrong.

Savagely initiated into the brutal underbelly of the firm, Audra learns too late that the rumors are true. Now after five years of careful plotting, Audra is ready to push the wheels of justice in motion. Her goal of retribution has turned into an obsession and she will stop at nothing until everyone responsible pays. Will revenge set her free or is Audra's quest for personal justice only beginning?

Card Tricks
Jon Messenger

Joey isn't a Super, at least not in same league as Superheroes like Inferno or Strong Man, or even Supervillians like Razor or The Puppet Master. His power "activates" cards, bringing the printed word to life. It's a great power for a card shark, which fits perfectly into his unmotivated lifestyle. When his girlfriend gets kidnapped by The Puppet Master, however, Joey has to face a life-changing decision: run away from his responsibility, or become the unlikeliest of heroes.

Struglend Tales
Jan Jacob Mekes

Follow Edward, the ugliest and probably most haphazard king Struglend has ever had, and his herald Fred, as they go on a quest to restore order to the universe. Well, maybe not the universe, but at least the little piece of land they call home – Struglend. In their journey to remove the evil knight who has invaded the kingdom, they meet several hilarious characters.

Book of Curses
L.D. Hutchinson

When teenage twins, Raine and Thomas Renning are pulled into the world within a book their whole lives are turned upside down. A prophecy, a war and a hell of a ride lie wait in the pages of Book of Curses.

Soul Sisters
Janiera Eldridge

Soul Sisters is an urban fantasy novel about African-American twin sisters Ani and Dana who have a rather unique secret: one sister is human while the other is a vampire.

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1 comment:

bn100 said...

All these books sound interesting.