J. Grace Pennington

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If I Have to Read This Book One More Time…

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…I don’t even know what I’ll do. Go crazy. Delete the entire thing. Maybe even swear off writing for ever.

As I rush through the very final stages of editing Implant I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve gone over this book. I enjoy a good re-read as much as the next bibliophile, but the same work five times in two weeks is just a little bit overkill. I practically have this memorized. I’m absolutely sick of it.

And yet, I still find that it makes me smile.

I’m rushing along, going over this chapter with a fine-toothed comb for the umpteenth time, bemoaning my word choices and grammatical mistakes–and Doc and Neil start arguing. And I just can’t help a grin.

I think that’s when you really know the heart of your story. Why you love it. What fueled it from its inception to the final draft. It’s not the first time you have the idea, it’s not getting feedback from your readers, it’s when the thought of reading this stinking book one more time makes you want to vomit and you still aren’t tired of this particular aspect. It still warms your heart, gets you grinning, and excites you. After all this time.

For me, for Implant, that’s the relationship between Doc and Neil. I can second-guess every other part of the book, bemoan my weak plotting skills, and agonize over whether this or that sentence makes sense, but when Doc and Neil come on the scene, I relax, and just enjoy the moment. For the hundredth time.

Those two get me through it all. And I can’t wait to share them with you.

It won’t be much longer now.

Implant Cover Reveal

I’m not doing a very good job of blogging, am I? I could offer several excuses, but I won’t–I’ll just say I have every intention improving. In the meantime, I have something very exciting to share with you–the Implant cover!

My sister from over at The Brightness Project came to me once I started talking about publishing and begged me to let her do the cover. Skeptically, I said she could give it a shot, and we’d see how it turned out. My skepticism was completely unwarranted. The cover turned out far and away better than I’d imagined!

Are you ready?

Start the drumroll…

And here…

It…

Is!

Front cover image

Welcome to the world of a universal cure.

Gordon Harding didn’t ask for the life he has. He didn’t ask to be orphaned. He didn’t ask to go through life with cancer. And he certainly didn’t ask to be pulled into a future world without warning–a world where every human being is controlled by means of a medical implant.

And when he learns that he’s the only one who can destroy the base of operations, he’s faced with an impossibly painful choice: either hide and let the world decay under this mysterious futuristic force, or rescue humanity from oppression, knowing that there’s someone out there who is willing to use any means necessary to stop him.

What do you think? Would you be interested enough to pick this book up at a library or bookstore?

The Liebster Award

So, Faith was kind enough to award me the Liebster Award (who was Liebster and what is it an award for? I’m not entirely sure… but it looked fun and I was touched that Faith thought of me, so why not?) and so here I am! I know I’ve not been blogging very much–I’ve been moving for the summer and going through a rough time in my personal life, and I let things slide. But I’m going to work to do better. Thank you for your patience!

What is this Liebster Award? Well here are the rules…

1. Link back to the blogger who nominated you.
2. Answer the 11 new questions.
3. Nominate other bloggers (however many or few as you’d like).
4. Create 11 new questions for the bloggers you nominated.
5. Notify the new nominees of their award.

Simple enough! So here go my answers to Faith’s questions:

1. Do you have any new ventures going (business, writing, life, etc.)?

Quite a few, actually. As I mentioned, I just moved for the summer–living more than five hours away from my family. I’m staying with my aunt and her family for a few months–just helping out, working, studying, trying new things. Should be fun! I also recently started selling Jamberry nails, which I love so far. As for writing, I’m still working on Implant. My goal is still to have it out this month or next.

2. What is your favorite time waster?

I don’t consider television a complete time waster, but I probably watch more than can be justified as “market research” or “inspiration” so I guess that’s my answer! I just love stories and it’s a good destresser sometimes.

3.Can you play an instrument? If so, which one? If not, which one would you like to play?

I play guitar, violin, piano, and Irish whistle. None of them terribly well, since I’m self-taught in the latter two and didn’t go very far in the former, but I enjoy them.

4. If you received an extra $200 this month, what would you do with it?

Put it towards saving for a car. Boring, I know.

5. Do you have a favorite book of the Bible?

I think I’ll have to be very typical and say Psalms. It’s always so comforting to me. But it’s almost a three way tie with Romans and Isaiah. I read those three most often.

6. How about a favorite genre to read?

I mainly read sci-fi, mystery, Christian living, and classics/literary fiction. But I can always branch out for a good story.

7. Can you rub your tummy and pat your head at the same time? How about vice versa?

Yes and yes! I’m talented that way.

8. Ebook or Paperback?

Hardbound.

9. What is your favorite movie(s)?

Gods & Generals.

10. Email or phone call?

Depends on the person. For most people, email.

11. What is your favorite snack food?

I have to say chocolate. Any kind, but mostly plain and dark. Maybe with some mint.

Now for my eleven new questions!

1. What book are you reading right now?
2. What’s your favorite TV show?
3. What’s your favorite place to go on a day out?
4. Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
5. What does a typical lunch look like for you?
6. Do you have any siblings? How many and what are their names and ages (if you’re comfortable sharing said information)?
7. Do you work? If so, what is your job?
8. Are you in a romantic relationship? If so, how long have you been together?
9. Are you right- or left-handed?
10. Do you care about style and fashion at all? If so, how would you describe your style?
11. If you have a wall calendar for this year, what is its theme?

And my people to tag:

Aubrey Hansen (just to make things fun!)

Jonathan Garner (I doubt he’ll do it, but I hope he will!)

Morgan Huneke

Melody Valadez

Thank you again, Faith!

Avengers–Still Think You’re the Only Monster?

I recently saw Avengers: Age of Ultron in our local theater. Armed with a root beer and a box of Junior Mints, I went in looking for a fun couple of hours and came out with a head full of thoughts and ideas and ponderings. Life of a writer. Driving home, the thoughts percolated into three distinct topics (or rants, however you want to put it) and I decided to turn them into a blog series. I’ll try my best to keep the posts spoiler free, but due to the exploratory nature of the ponderings, some things may slip out. Proceed at your own risk.

Post idea number one: Black Widow. a.k.a. Natasha Romanoff. A controversial figure if I ever saw one. My very conservative friends hate on her for being too feminist, and my feminist friends hate on her for not being feminist enough. It’s either “She’s a woman–how dare she fight?” or “She’s a fighter–how dare she be womanly?”

For you see, in this Marvel installment, not only does Widow kick some serious enemy behind, but she has a love interest.

Natasha, please be consistent. Are you a tough woman, or are you a feminine one?

My question, after seeing her in three movies is, why do these things have to be mutually exclusive?

I actually really admire her as a character. She’s far from perfect, and her perpetually-perfect hair and makeup no matter how intense the fight is a bit annoying (what do you expect, it’s Hollywhood), and I’m not a fan of her rather extremely skintight suit (again, Hollywood), but I really think she presents an interesting mix of tough and feminine.

I didn’t pay much attention to her in the first movie. But there were a couple small moments that grabbed my attention. One was her brief moment of honest vulnerability with Hawkeye. It made me think, “Wow, there’s a real woman under that assassin-exterior.” The other was a moment in the New-York-destroying fight at the end of the film where an explosion goes off above Captain America and herself. In that moment, he covers her with his shield to protect her from the debris. And how does she react? Does she toss him away and yell, “How dare you? I don’t need a man to save me! I can take care of myself!” No, she actually ducks beneath the shield, allowing him to keep her safe.

That’s not because she’s weak. That’s because she’s not stupid. She knows that his strength and assets can protect her better than she can protect herself at that moment, and she’s grateful for that.

The new Avengers movie drives this aspect further home. Once she finds a man that she can actually trust and be herself with, does she push him away with an “I don’t need you, I’m a strong woman!” attitude? No. She goes for it with confidence. Because she knows they work well together. She wants that in her life. It’s not because she’s weak. It’s because she knows it would be good for her, and for him. Because that’s how she’s created, as a woman. And she’s confident enough in that to know, yes, she does need men. It’s not about strength or weakness. It’s about the fact that women and men were made to complement each other, to be better together than apart.

The point of all these rambles?

Don’t be afraid to give your female characters a mixture of toughness and vulnerability. Toughness isn’t an unwomanly characteristic, and vulnerability isn’t a weak one. Women in the real world are multi-faceted. Let’s make sure our fictional women reflect that.

It’s Always Fun to Get Free Stuff

Been enjoying hearing me talk about Implant lately? Are you curious? Do you want to have it before all of your friends? (Because everyone you know is definitely going to be running out to buy this book the moment it hits virtual shelves. *nods*)

Well, good news! I’m going to give away the very first official copy of Implant! I’m nice that way. But I need you to do a little something for me first.

Write an Amazon.com review of any of my books. It can be short, simple, doesn’t even have to be positive! Just share your true thoughts with Amazon customers, then send me a link to your review to be entered in the giveaway! Only Amazon reviews count, though I won’t complain if you also post them elsewhere! It also must be a new review, posted between April 28th (when I announced the contest on Facebook) and midnight CST on May 31st.

But wait! What if you’re one of those industrious souls who has already reviewed ALL of my books? In that case, send me links to prove it, and I’ll award you two entries, just for being awesome.

Email links to theauthor [AT] jgracepennington [DOT] com, and please use the subject line “Amazon reviews.” I look forward to seeing what you have to say!

To make things easy on you, here are links to my books:

Firmament: Radialloy

Firmament: In His Image

Firmament: Machiavellian

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