Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

How Books Enlarge Us

By Brent King On October 20, 2014 1 Comment

pregnantIn her post, Books Are Dangerous, Ashlee Willis talks about the danger of allowing our books to take us to a selfish place. As I thought about her words, I wondered what we should do, then, with the longing that books thrust into our hearts.

God Desires Books to Change Us, Not The Other Guy

God is creating a heaven within us now. We can cooperate with Him by letting our stories inspire us to give, give instead of get, get. With God’s help, our books can move us to become the lover we desperately desire to have. We can’t change our mate into Mr. Rochester or Mr. Darcy, but we can allow God to change us.

Children Are a Great Example

Yet we can’t help but yearn for the life of our dreams,

Last Request: A Victorian Gothic Review

By Brent King On September 2, 2014 No Comments

Last RequestLast Request is an innocent tale of horror that elicits smiles, suspense, and fear. In a few pages, Jeff Chapman spins a realistic story that could have played out at many times or places in Victorian history. It could have been your story, or mine.

The author draws us in when Anna wonders what sort of knife would cut through the bone and gristle of a human neck. So begins a journey where the question comes again and again throughout the reading: how far would I go to grant the last request of a loved one?

Chapman’s writing is vivid and delightfully descriptive, drawn between the humorous and the horrific. From “The solicitor spoke without emotion, his monotone dusted with boredom” to “A motley crowd of gravestones—angels, crosses, and rounded slabs— flanked her on

Coraline Review

By Brent King On July 10, 2014 No Comments

*** Warning! The post contains mild (not complete) spoilers.***

I live inCoraline Coraline’s world, so it wasn’t hard to empathized with her as I learned her story. Things are not what they seem and the truth is upside down to my way of thinking. How often I have been startled by Coraline’s reality (and mine).

Oh, the Lure of the Easy Way!

Coraline is a child, naïve and trusting. She wants the creature comforts we all want. She is humanity—humanity that all too often doesn’t analyze the safe-haven offers from the Other Mother before making decisions. Life is difficult for us, and who doesn’t want to take the easy way. Consequently the Other Mother’s offers of a carefree life are tempting, but they are like the Ring of power in Lord of the Rings: they come at a price,

The Word Changers Review

By Brent King On June 10, 2014 No Comments

thewordchangerscoverartfinalWhere better to learn the great themes of life and soul than in a story? We try to learn them through the story we write in the book of our life. Yet often they become clearer to us as we experience them vicariously through a book on our shelf. But what if our participation in this book went beyond our imagination? What if we could enter its pages, breath its air, and change its Plot?

With strong metaphors, Ashlee Willis takes us into such an adventure. Life is a story, and Ashlee’s—no, Posy’s—story is about life. I fell into her story and found within its magic a land like mine, where joy, sadness, and sacrifice shape its pages. Truthfully, there were times when I forgot that I wasn’t actually there with Posy,

Plot & Structure Review

By Brent King On April 28, 2014 2 Comments

Plot and Structure_optI purchased this book because I found the author’s eBook, Write Your Novel From the Middle, extremely helpful. I was not disappointed. This is one of the best books on writing I have purchased.

What Was at the Heart of the Book for Me?

Bell’s chapters on the beginning, middle, and ending of a novel were most helpful to me. For example, how to make a beginning irresistible, and how to make a middle pop. There is a shocking tip on endings that will make my books so much better, and a section on making characters likable. I also enjoyed the chapter on revisions.

What I Liked Best

One of my favorite thoughts in the book was write who you are, instead of the normal admonition, write what you know. The thing I enjoyed most

Write Your Novel From The Middle Review

By Brent King On March 9, 2014 2 Comments

BellWhen Write Your Novel From the Middle was published a couple weeks ago, I knew I had to have it. In the last six months my mind has been settling into many truths about writing, finding its way amid good books full of ideas on plot, theme, and character. Bell’s take seemed fresh and simple.

Two Cool Things About This Book!

I finished the book yesterday. Two things jumped out at me in the experience.

  • I love how it is compatible with my personal writing style.
  • I tested the rough draft of one of my novels in progress to see if it measured up to Bell’s theory. What I discovered blew me away! I found just what he said I’d find, right in the middle (exactly!). There, my main character spoke those magic words of

Structuring Your Novel Review

By Brent King On February 18, 2014 No Comments


In the past few days I’ve digested KM Weiland’s Structuring Your Novel: Essential Keys for Writing an Outstanding Storyand in response to the insightful experience I am compelled to write a review. I became interest and bought a copy of this book because of the the gracious and helpful instruction that I received from Weiland on the subject on her blog.

A Lightbulb Moment

I have written all my life and feel like I have an intuitive sense of how to craft a story. This has been supported by tools I’ve applied from books such as Writing Tools by Roy Peter Clark, Techniques of the Selling Author by Dwight V. Swain, and an exhaustive plunge into the theories of Dramatica. Although I have learned a lot, I was pleasantly surprised by the clear

My Journey to Mount Doom

By Brent King On November 20, 2013 2 Comments

Gate to Hell

Blankets and Enthusiasm

My children’s eyes first reflected the fires of Mount Doom back to me. We spent many evenings wrapped in blankets, listening to the rhythm of Tolkien’s masterpiece—a rhythm I would have never heard without them. As the years have gone by Middle-earth has remained a love that we hold in common. Their enduring enthusiasm and curiosity for it inspires me.

Not Just Another Story

As we read The Lord of the Rings on those first long evenings, it didn’t take me long to realize that it was more than just another story. It was an epic tale that ran as deep as life itself. I was stunned. How could I have lived so many years without reading this great book? That was a decade ago, and, even