Thursday, January 29, 2009

Is Edward a Gary Stu?

Often I find myself involved in conversations of the let's-analyze-Twilight variety. I do not initiate these discussions, mind you--they seek me out and find me vulnerable (much like bad boys). Perhaps it is because I'm a YA author, YA enthusiast, & young looking girl. Or maybe it is my Bite Me Edward Cullen (PLEASE!) bumper sticker. I don't know. But a few of these convos have revolved around the accusation that Bella is a "Mary Sue". And today there's been a little blogging about "Mary Sue"--enter Diana Peterfreund with a Mary Sue Litmus Test--so I thought I'd give it a whirl. But not with Bella--because I'm Just Not That Into Her. Enter: Edward!

Some of the highlights:

Does your (immortal) character appear to be much younger than she/he really is? Um, yeah--he was born in 1901 and still looks 17.
Does the character have an unusual eye color, or otherwise exceptional eyes? And are these eyes a color that does not occur in nature? Technically Topaz does occur in nature, but with all the changing of color... I'm giving this one a yes.
And will they have something to do with the plot? Yes
Does the character have eyes that somehow reflect hidden depths or experience or sorrow?
Reflects his feeding schedule
Does the character have unusual or exceptional hair, or does her/his hair get a disproportionate amount of description compared to that of the other characters? Yes-"His hair, which is always messy, retains the unusual bronze shade that he inherited in his human life from his biological mother."*
Was the character ever abducted? I consider what Carlisle did a form of abduction
Does the character consider her/his beauty/talent/skill/etc. a curse? No man likes to sparkle

Then we have more Gary Stu qualities, such as he "possesses superhuman beauty, strength, speed, endurance, and agility. His scent and voice are enormously seductive, so much so that he occasionally sends Bella into a pliant daze entirely by accident....He is the fastest of the Cullens, able to outrun any of them. Perhaps as a result of a talent for empathy in his human life, Edward can also read the mind of anyone within a few miles of himself...Edward also retains some of the traditional mindset and dated patterns of speech from his early-20th century human life."*

And all the other stuff that comes from living for so long and not sleeping--like traveling extensively, knowing many languages, being a virtuoso piano player--and there's the collecting of cars and music.
Plus many many more yeses.

So after doing my best to answer the questions (some I couldn't because I'm not Stephenie) the findings are thus: Edward scores a whopping 147 points and "71 points or more: Irredeemable-Sue. "
But it doesn't change the way I feel about him! (Which right there is a totally Mary Sue trait... sigh)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

ARCs Giveaway!

A couple of quick things first-- Undone made the final cut for the ALA Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers List! Whoo Hooo!!!

AND (thank you Librarily Blond) I now have a new fun blog to procrastinate with:

Okay--onto the giveaways. This is kind of a winter bookshelf cleanup giveaway of ARCs I grabbed up at NCTE but have not yet read because I'm just that overwhelmed with everything else. SO I'm giving them away--enter to win one, two, or all. Simply tell me which numbers you are interested in. The way it will work is this--I'll combine my LJ and Blogger comments and then do the random number thing--if your number is picked you win whatever books you listed. If there are still books left over the people who selected those books will then get a shot at the random number generator, etc... This way I may save a little on postage. Hope you understand. Now onto the books:

1. The Dangerous Days of Daniel X by James Patterson/Michael Ledwidge

2. The Model President by Brian Tacang (It's a MG--and Brian was a fashion designer, just thought I'd include that)

3. The Haunting of Derek Stone-City of the Dead and Bayou Dogs by Tony Abbott

4. Deeper by Roderick Gordon & Brian Williams (this is a sequel to a NYT bestselling book called Tunnels)
and the hardest to part with:

Okay--you have until Sunday (Feb 1st) midnight to post your choices! Good Luck!

Monday, January 26, 2009


William C. Morris Award goes to fellow Classof2K8 author Elizabeth C. Bunce for A Curse As Dark as Gold!!!

Michael L. Printz nod goes to Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Winners Winners

Thanks to all who commented--several on LJ were my own (love to talk horse!) so I'm just going to call it an even 50! SO YAY $50 to the Flake Sale!
Congrats go out to:
SarahBear (Blogger)
Wldhrsjen (LJ)
Akabins (LJ)
Send me your mailing addy : Brooke (at) BrookeTaylorBooks (dot) com
And I'll send your prize packs!!
Stay tuned for more giveaways this week!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Don't be a Flake Contest!

Okay ya'll--you've heard of Bake Sales, but in response to the many horses in need due to the flooding in Washington a couple of amazing organizations are throwing a "Flake Sale" (more detail below) and since I've been super-duper excited about the release of Jessica Burkhart's horsey series Canterwood Crest and it's finally released today--well why not combine the two events somehow? This is what I've come up with:

For everyone who comments (tell me if you've had a memorable horse experience or other animal if you've never been around a horse OR OR OR purge your soul and tell me something you've totally flaked on) I will donate $1 to the Flake Sale (so 100 comments = $100) PLUS you will get entered to win one of 3 Take the Reins (Canterwood Crest) books +Plus a super cute plush horse. Can't beat that! (Deadline midnight Sunday January 18, 2009)

When Sasha Silver and her horse, Charm, arrive on the campus of the elite Canterwood Crest Academy, Sasha knows that she's in trouble. She's not exactly welcomed with open arms. One group of girls in particular is used to being the best, the brightest, and the prettiest on the team, and when Sasha shows her skills in the arena, the girls' claws come out.

Sasha is determined to prove that she belongs at Canterwood. Will she rise to the occasion and make the advanced riding team by the end of her first semester? Or will the pressure send Sasha packing?

More info about the Flake Sale:

"In early January 2009, Western Washington experienced torrential rains resulting in devastating flooding in many areas. Over 18 counties declared a state of emergency, as a combination of heavy rain and previous snowfall caused a number of rivers to break their banks. 40,000 residents had to evacuate their homes, many with their pets and livestock. Over 300 horses are being temporarily housed at area fairgrounds.

As the waters recede, residents are returning to find that their winter’s supply of hay and grain has been destroyed by the rushing water. With hay prices at an all-time high, the flood damage has created a severe crisis for area horse owners.

To help the horses and owners affected by the floods, Second Chance Ranch, in partnership with, has established a Flood Relief Fund. This fund will provide emergency feeding grants to help Washington horse owners meet their horses’ immediate needs as they begin flood recovery efforts.

What is the Flake Sale?To fund this effort, we are holding a virtual “Flake Sale”. Just click to buy a virtual flake of hay for a horse in need via Paypal with your credit card, debit card or checking account. You can buy as many flakes as you like – just $5 will buy a virtual flake (in real life, it pays for enough hay to feed one horse for one day!) :

Official Website:

Publishing Demystified

Obtained illegally from the very awesome Alyson Noel (whose book Evermore is coming out very very soon!!! SQUEE!)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

It puts the lotion in the basket....

So I was emailing about my latest WIP with a super cool CP of mine, and she questioned a pop culture reference I had used. Now I figured it might go over some of my target audience's heads, but I'd expected she would have some idea what I was talking about--but, erm, no. So I explained and even though she'd seen Silence of the Lambs, she didn't recall the scene in question. SO, as I often do at times of trouble, I turned to YouTube for help. And since YouTube rarely disappoints, I found this little precious (guess what I'll be singing all day?):

The lyrics here: