Sunday, July 15, 2012

2nd Edition July 15, 2012

Why are some genre's more popular than others? That is the theme of our issue.

Empress Theater Magna, Utah 
Paranormal - What goes bump in the night?
By Mary Martinez
Why do people read what they do? I don't know. Why do some people absolutely love to be scared, sit on the edge of their seats and can't wait to turn the next page to have something jump out at them? And yet other people won't even pick up a scary book?

This is a bit off the subject, but what I find fascinating is that not everyone watches the same thing on TV as they read in a book. Do you? I love to ghost hunt, yes back on subject, but yet I don't watch all those paranormal, ghost hunter series they have one now. Once in a while I watch an episode of Phsych, but it's more comedy than anything.

So why do people read paranormal? I know I asked this question before, but is it the unknown? Does it make them wonder, could this really happen? Be happening? I guess it depends what you're reading, I mean how many people read about vampires and think those two questions?

Ridiculous right? Maybe not. I'm reading Discovery of Witches right now. There are Witches, Vampires and daemons (author's spelling, not mine) all walking around intermingling with the humans. Have I looked around at the people on the bus and wondered, could he be... Yes! Well if you'd seen the people on the bus you'd wonder too.

Back to why do people read paranormal? True it's a matter of taste, but also paranormal is an umbrella that covers so many different things. I for one do not like to read vampire stories. I may not have started the book I'm reading now if I'd known, yet I'm finding it interesting. But vampires or werewolf's do not do it for me. But witches, ghosts, druids, faeries, I love all of those. I even like a bit of time travel.

Some paranormal is like suspense, it can keep you on the edge of your seat. You know there is a creature in the basement and you just want to scream at the character not to go down the stairs. Yet, you can't wait until he or she does. Isn't it the same when you know the killer is down there?

Summing it all up, I don't know why one person reads paranormal and another person hates it. It's all a matter of taste. Please take a minute to take the survey on the right and let Canyonland Press readers know what you like about paranormal.

Suspense or Mystery?
by Anna Sugg
Which do you like to read? Suspense? Mysteries? Do you know the difference between suspense and mystery?

I’m a suspense person myself. One great author that comes to mind is Mary Stewart. She started writing romance suspense, as well as historical fictions, in the mid-1950s through the 1980s. You’re in for a treat if you’ve never read her novels, which continue to be reprinted over and over again.

Alfred Hitchcock, the master of suspense, said that suspense isn’t related to fear, but “a state of waiting for something to happen”. As you read a good suspense novel, you feel the tension, alert to what is surely going to happen, and hold your breath, waiting. This is suspense. Hitchcock kept the audience informed as the story progressed with that suspense building. He was a master.

Mysteries, on the other hand, are puzzles. Usually asking who and why the crime was committed. An intriguing mystery revolves around something that has already happened, as opposed to something that’s going to happen. Of course, you do find mysteries containing many elements of suspense, especially while the villain is still at large. Mysteries, typically lack surprises, but the puzzled drama of whodunit keeps us turning the pages, like a game.

Simple differences: suspense is the imminent danger that needs to be resolved; mystery is the intellectual game of puzzles that need to be unraveled.

Mystery Writers of America listed their best 100 mysteries and at the top was the complete Sherlock Holmes by author, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Also on the list was Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, John Grisham’s A Time to Kill, and the 100th was Ira Levin’s Rosemary’s Baby. Here’s the link:

Do you agree with their list of best 100 mysteries? Really now, are these the best? What would your list look like? Of course the above list is different from the top ten best-selling mysteries of all times:

One of Amazon’s top ten picks for romance suspense authors listed Naked in Death by J.D. Robbs and the fifth place was my favorite book by Catherine Coulter (love that author) The Maze an FBI Series.

After asking several friends about their favorite authors, and if they knew if they were suspense or mystery writers, they didn’t seem to know or care if they were one or the other. Bottom line, it’s the content that’s important.

All in all, by the time I completed my research on the difference between suspense and mystery, it was not so complicated to tell the difference between the two. But while searching for the top best mystery and suspense authors, I discovered many authors were listed under both, and there are so many lists, that when it comes right down to it, it’s a certain person or group’s opinion. Hmm, maybe I should do my own list. What do you think?
Please take a minute to take the survey on the right and let Canyonland Press readers know what you like about Mystery/Suspense.

Historicals - a wonderful getaway
by Marie Higgins

When I first started reading romance novels, my first book was a historical by Kathleen E Woodiwiss, "A Rose in Winter".  I was swept away in another world where men were gentlemen and women were proper...and everyone had manners and etiquette.  Times were so different back then that most people don't believe things like that happened.  Did women really wear dresses all the time? Did gentlemen really wear top hats and walk with walking-sticks? And really...did all they ever do was go to balls or have tea parties?  But really, it doesn't matter!  What matters to me is that I'm swept away in another world where I can imagine myself wearing a beautiful ball gown dancing with a charming gentleman (or rogue).  My two favorite eras are Regency and Victorian.

REGENCY (1795-1837) - The era was a time of excess for the aristocracy: for example, it was during this time that the Prince Regent built the Brighton Pavilion. However, it was also an era of uncertainty caused by several factors including the Napoleonic wars, periodic riots, and the concern (threat to some, hope to others) that the British people might imitate the upheavals of the French Revolution.

VICTORIAN (1837-1901) - When 18 year old Princess Victoria pictured in the header above, became Queen in 1837 no one dreamed she would reign for the rest of the century for another 64 years. The name Victorian to describe the whole period is a misnomer as for some years at the beginning of the era, Regency attitudes prevailed. After 1840 when Victoria married Albert we see the heyday of Victorian attitudes of prudery and a strict outwardly moral code that lasted until about 1890 when Prince Edward the Prince Of Wales and his more spirited lifestyle was echoed in society.

I love these eras because of their manners, their language, and their courtesy.  I've always thought reading books in these eras were more romanctic.  And I know I'm not the only one.  Historical romance is booming!  More and more authors are writing in this genre almost to the point that the publishing companies have too many!  But that's okay with me.  The more...the merrier!  I encourage you to pick up a historical romance (any era you like) and read. I can pretty much guarantee you'll love it!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

1st Edition, July 1, 2012

Madam Librarian Recommendation
Trish Hull /Manager Magna Library

Liver Let Die 
by Liz LippermanThe title almost put me off at first, because I hate liver. Rest easy, the book has nothing to do with liver. (Well maybe foie gras does play a prominent role). Anyway, this gem of a mystery had me laughing and confused the whole way through. This first novel has lots of twists and turns with a thoroughly engaging heroine who you can’t help but root for. This is a great variation on the chef as detective cozy. I may actually try these recipes, especially Rosie’s potato chip chicken.

Author Spotlight Liz Lipperman

Canyonland: Liz can you tell our readers a bit about yourself, please.

Liz:  A retired nurse, I began writing as a hobby over twenty years ago. Until recently, I thought I was a romance writer despite the fact that my stories all had bad guys and murders. When my agent broke it to me that I was a mystery writer, I argued, but in the end I knew she was right. I was born and raised in the Midwest, but I’ve lived in Dallas for enough years to call myself a Texan. When I’m not writing I spend my time with family and grandchildren and anything that even resembles sports. Read the rest of the interview...
Check out the book nominations to the right! Read them and be prepared to vote for your favorite. Canyonland Press will be having their first annual Readers Choice Awards. So read up!
Setting – The Canvas of the Story
By Amy Durham

Obviously, I read. A lot. And since you’re here, you probably do too!

My family and I just returned from a two-week vacation out west. We drove from our home in Kentucky to San Diego, California, and took time to enjoy several really amazing places in between, such as the Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas (If you don’t know what it is, Google it! It’s SO cool!), the Grand Canyon, and several other Route 66 attractions. In San Diego, we saw the Pacific Ocean in all it’s glory… the flat, sandy beaches of Coronado, the rocky cliffs of La Jolla, and the simple beauty of the Silver Strand. During the trip, we saw farmland, desert, mountains, coastal areas, cities, small towns, Native American reservations, and many different walks of life.

As a reader and a writer, it made me really think about the importance of the setting in a story. I love such a variety of settings in the stories I read, but what makes the story come alive is when the setting becomes such a part of the story that it’s a character itself.  Perhaps is a story set in New Orleans, and the descriptions of the food and the quirky phrases used by the characters make the setting such a strong presence. Or maybe it’s a book set on the coast, and the sounds of the ocean waves and the smell of the salty air transport me to another place for a while. Or maybe the green fields and craggy cliffs of Scotland give me a glimpse of what life is like there.

Whatever the setting of a book, it has the power not only to drive the story, but also to offer readers an escape. It imbues the story with its personality, creates an atmosphere in which the characters can interact, react, grow, and overcome. It becomes the canvas on which the rest of the action comes to life in brilliant color. It creates for the reader a space to “crawl into” in which to experience the story along with the characters.

My trip across the country, where I experienced such different landscapes and ways of life than I’m used to in my every day life, gave me the opportunity to think about the books whose settings have truly captured me and the authors who’ve so skillfully integrated the settings into their stories. It made me appreciate the fact that although I haven’t traveled extensively, reading books in various settings can take me to exotic and amazing places. And it made me even more aware of the way the setting of a story can truly become another character.

If you have a favorite type of setting, or even a particular book that used setting in a beautiful way, we’d love to hear about it!