Friday, August 27, 2010

Book Review: The Hidden Sun

Author: J. Lloyd Morgan
Author website
Purchase the book here

From Morgan's website:

Eliana and Rinan are in love. However, Eliana is destined to become Queen of Bariwon, obligated to marry the victor of a competition called the Shoginoc while Royal Guardian Rinan, her personal protector, is forbidden to marry until he retires. Normally they could renounce their titles to be together, but these are not normal times. Abrecan, the malevolent governor of Erd, is determined to win the Shoginoc, thereby placing his easily manipulated son Daimh on Bariwon’s throne. Aware of his lust for power and the questionable way he has ruled the district of Erd, Eliana and Rinan are convinced the only way to counter Abrecan's influence is for Eliana to become Daimh’s queen. When a plan is devised for Eliana to retain her power, yet still marry Rinan, both she and Rinan see a way they can live up to their individual obligations and still be together. Little do they realize that they are choosing to be part of a deception that will threaten the peace they are so desperately trying to protect.  

The Hidden Sun is a gripping tale which counters the lust for power with a longing for love. Author J. Lloyd Morgan weaves deception, devotion, caring and courage into a narrative that will keep you guessing. Its intriguing story line questions the worth of the things valued most in life, while considering the rippling consequences of a single choice.
The very first thing I noticed while reading The Hidden Sun was that J. Lloyd Morgan knows how to draw in his readers. It didn't take long for me to become emotionally attached to the characters. I was really, really happy with how things turned out. His descriptions allowed me to really feel as if I were in the story itself. I found myself frustrated with Governer Abrecan to the point of wanting to strangle him myself. The "healthy" relationships throughout the book were fulfilling and satisfying, even with all the necessary road bumps. (And we all know that those bumps along the way keep readers reading. :-))

Another thing that impressed me was Morgan's talent at developing twists and subplots. For example, and without revealing too much, I would never have thought up the solution to Eliana's problem with marrying Daimh, nor the resulting consequences. Other intricacies in the plot delighted me - I won't mention them here because I don't want to spoil any surprises for readers. His imagination caught me off guard - he didn't re-write popular stories, he created his own.

The parallels found in the book were pretty cool. I've always been obsessed with light and darkness. And I was able to relate to the problems in The Hidden Sun because I see them in society around me. I like political books, but I like them best when they're mixed with other genres. Morgan found a great balance - one that worked really well for me.

I highly recommend this book--pick it up as soon as you can and read it!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


I don't know about you, but I needed a break from grammar rules! I've got ideas for more, and will get back to them eventually, but wanted to focus on something else I love. Typos! My mom found a really good one, posted it on Facebook, and had a lot of people respond with their own funny typos.

I want to compile some of the best from your writing, my writing, or anything we've come across. Leave yours in a comment and I'll publish the compiled list in a few days.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Grammar Rules: Eminent vs Imminent

Yet another "sounds similar" set of words. Eminent and Imminent. Two words with very different meanings.


This gum is eminent.
He's an eminent scientist.
Harry Potter is eminent.
My books will be eminent. (One can hope! :-))

"About to happen"

Charles' arrival is imminent.
It's imminent after five months.
My leaving isn't imminent.
Your life is imminent.

Have a great day!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Grammar Rules: Its vs It's

Ever see someone trying to possess an action? "Its going to work!" Or trying to action a possession? "It's mine!" These are common mistakes, and it's sometimes hard to spot when we make them.

Its (no apostrophe):
Possessive pronoun

Time to read its ingredients
Its not hers.
That book--its his, right?
Without its kittens, the cat is lost.

It's (apostrophe):
Contraction for "it is."

It's ugly!
Wow, it's going to actually work.
When it's working, it sings.
It's hard to find my house.

Authors/writers: Make sure you're on my list of authors!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Hotel California Remake

I LOVE watching and listening to talented musicians! Hotel California, by the Eagles, is one of my all-time favorite songs, and I'm very impressed by these two guys. Read the captions at the bottom of the video - it's really cool how they put this together. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Grammar Rules: Regardless vs Irregardless

Another mistake I haven't seen in a while, but which could be reviewed: using Irregardless in place of Regardless.

Correct: Regardless.

Incorrect: Irregardless.

He wants to date her, regardless of the outcome.
Regardless of what her mother's actions would be, Suzette screamed at her brother.
She hated her, regardless of the good behavior.

Irregardless is improper and substandard. Again, don't let your writing be substandard! :-)

Authors/writers: Make sure you're on my list of authors!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Grammar Rules: Farther vs Further

At last! One of my favorite rules! :-) Farther vs Further.

Farther refers to distance. (Physical)

I ran farther than you!
He can throw much farther this year.
When will we move farther away?

Further refers to extent or degree. (Not physical)

They discussed the topic much further than was appropriate.
The store's manager pushed the goals further than usual.
No further mention is necessary.

Authors/writers: Are you on my list of authors yet?

Friday, August 13, 2010

Grammar Rules: All Right vs Alright and A Lot vs Alot

This one is simple. All Right is correct. Alright isn't. A Lot is correct. Alot isn't. Alright and alot are considered substandard. Don't allow your writing to be substandard! :-)

All right, I'll come with you.
The setting was all right with him.

We used a lot of ketchup.
He worked a lot of overtime hours.

Authors/writers: Make sure you're on my list of authors!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Grammar Rules: Set vs Sit

It's hard to come up with unique introductions to these grammar rules. Okay, so just don't break this one. It'll make you sound like a cowboy. :-)

Set vs Sit

"To place."

Please set your papers on my desk.
She set the printer on the counter.
I have set my keys here before.

"to be seated."

Sit down!
She sat on the front row.
I had not sat there before.

("Set yourself down" reminds me of my hometown. :-))

Authors/writers: Make sure you're on my list of authors!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Grammar Rules: Reason Is Because vs Reason Is That

Be careful to not make this mistake! It's not a huge deal, but most of the grammar things I've brought up aren't. Learning how to use these words will make editing with a professional editor so much easier in the long run.

Correct: reason is that

Incorrect: reason is because

The reason she hates him is that he's annoying.
The reason for bad business today is that the weather was really ugly.
The reason she said yes is that he asked so nicely.
his reason for eating the pie is that she told him not to.

Authors/writers: Make sure you're on my list of authors!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Grammar Rules: Affect vs Effect

These two words (affect/effect) sound nearly the same, and it can be frustrating to remember which to use. Make sure you understand the rules!

Verb: "to influence," "to change."

The man doesn't affect his partner.
Good thing the cat's fur doesn't affect me now!
He won't affect me.
Leave it to me to affect the kids.
Saying the word "affect" over and over affects my brain!

Noun: "result," "impression."

The man is emotionally scarred, but without any physical effects.
Agony has a bad effect on her.
Our sales should have no effect on the business.
The wrong man will bring huge effects.

Authors/writers: Make sure you're on my list of authors!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Grammar Rules: Accept vs Except

I haven't noticed errors where Accept vs Except are concerned nearly as frequently lately. I'm still going to go over it here, though! :-)

"to agree to."

He accepted her proposition.
They accepted each other whole-heartedly.
The credit card accepted, she was free to travel!
Don't accept the donations she gives!

"with the exclusion of."

They liked everything except dessert.
The man took nothing except the girl.
Excepting the hat, your clothes are wonderful.
Leave everything except the cat.

Authors/writers: Make sure you're on my list of authors!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Grammar Rules: Quotation marks and Commas/Periods

Misplacement of commas and periods when using quotation marks is one of the most common grammatical errors made by novice writers. The rule is fairly simple:

Commas and periods always go INSIDE the quotation mark:

"I hate eating here," he said.
"That's just stupid," Sara said.
consider the following numbers: "twenty," "fifteen," and "seven."
I like the words "peach," "water," "blue," and "sunny."

Authors/writers: Make sure you're on my list of authors!