Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen and Some Other Random Things……


Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen

Published February 14th, 2012 by Walker Childrens

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Many readers know the tale of Robin Hood, but they will be swept away by this new version full of action, secrets, and romance.

Posing as one of Robin Hood’s thieves to avoid the wrath of the evil Thief Taker Lord Gisbourne, Scarlet has kept her identity secret from all of Nottinghamshire. Only the Hood and his band know the truth: the agile thief posing as a whip of a boy is actually a fearless young woman with a secret past. Helping the people of Nottingham outwit the corrupt Sheriff of Nottingham could cost Scarlet her life as Gisbourne closes in. It’s only her fierce loyalty to Robin—whose quick smiles and sharp temper have the rare power to unsettle her—that keeps Scarlet going and makes this fight worth dying for.

Review

I am a sucker for a good historical retelling, and a strong heroine to be honest, and this book had everything I was looking for.

Scarlet is a member of Robin Hood’s band of thieves. Few outside the group know that she’s a girl, as she disguises herself as Will Scarlet. In the legends and movies of past Robin Hoods, Will was often considered Robin’s best friend, and was always played by the cutest, dorkiest boys. In case you need a reminder:

Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991)

Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993)

Oh, and while there was no Will character in the Disney version of Robin Hood, I think it was by far my favorite, and I still encourage you to go see it.

Anyway, in this version Scarlet is a girl with a past. She’s been hiding out with Robin’s men for the past two years, but now the Sheriff has hired the thief-taker Gisbourne to bring Robin in once and for all. With Gisbourne’s arrival, the past that Scarlet has fought to keep hidden for all these years is threatening to reveal itself.

This story is written beautifully. Its written in Scarlet’s words, with her commoner accent, the way she would have talked back in those days. The plot stars off action filled and never gets dull. The character development was wonderful, as well as the richness in the way the different character relationships were laid out.

Speaking of the characters, they by far they were what made this such a wonderful story. Each had their flaws.

Scarlet is running from her past. She’s crude, secretive, and generally keeps to herself.

Robin has a bit of a temper. Instead of the perfect hero, he’s a little rough around the edges. He has the weight of the world on his shoulders, and sometimes that much pressure gets to be a bit much. He might be the most realistic Robin Hood I’ve read/seen.

Little John is a big, charismatic brute. He was definitely more attractive here than in other stories.

Much is the youngest and sweetest member of the group.  Scarlet cares for him like a brother.

Even the secondary characters, the townspeople, where wonderful. They had weak moments, but they were just human. All coping with the crummy situations they were in.

And yes, there was even a little romance. But it was the kind I really like. The romance was secondary in the story. It was something in the background, just teasing you without ever overriding the main plot. I don’t want to say too much, but I love a good romance tease.

The only problem I had with the book was that its a stand alone book. The ending, while wrapping up the plot, still leaves loose ends with so much room for a sequel. Its a great place to stop to make you want more. And I do. I’m hoping for a sequel, because without one, that ending is just going to kill me.

Guest Post with A.C. Gaughen

What advice would you give to a young teen who dreams of becoming an author?

Give yourself permission to succeed.  This is true for pretty much all writers, but teens in particular.  You are in a super exciting place right now; it’s confusing and it’s crazy and it’s incredibly hard and insanely joyful.  The things you’ll go through right now are the things that will come to define your life later on, for better or for worse.  You have to acknowledge that you’re at the beginning of a journey.

Writing is a journey too.  There’s some theory out there about needing to do something every day for ten years before you can call yourself a master of it, and writing is no different.  You may be an incredible writer on day one, but you need to give yourself that ten years to enjoy your craft outside of judgement, outside of criticism, outside of any reaction whatsoever.

I’m thrilled to be in the position that I’m currently in–my first novel is coming out, and I hope it’s just the first of many.  I hope I get to do this for the rest of my life.  But surprisingly, the thing I’m most grateful for is that the first novel I sent off–just about ten years ago, at the age of 14–never got published.  I have stacks and stacks of notebooks that are filled with crappy novels and heartbreaking scenes and cheesy, comforting, deep or thrilling words.

I got ten years to play, and I got ten years to figure out what I wanted to say, and how I wanted to say it.  I gave myself permission to take the time–and in turn, I found my voice.  So, Anonymous Teen Writer, give yourself permission to succeed.  Give yourself time to play.  But never, for a second, give up on your dreams.

Thanks to A.C. for the guest post!

Transcendent: Tales of the Paranormal

by Lani Woodland (Goodreads Author), Melonie Piper (Goodreads Author),Rita Webb (Goodreads Author), Wendy Swore
(Goodreads Author), 
Melanie Marks
 (Goodreads Author), Heather McCubbin (Goodreads Author), Evan Joseph (Goodreads Author)
 
Add to Goodreads
Purchase a copy at Amazon|B&N

Discover the secrets of a siren, fly with a hawk girl over the mountains of Montana,

and flee supernatural party-crashers as the décor comes to life in this magical journey through paranormal stories.

Along the way, watch for ghosts in a

haunted house, or ride through the

moonlight with a stranger. Save a comatose boy who has lost his soul, and don’t forget to bring your garlic and wolfsbane—you

never know when the shadows will snag you.

Transcendent includes eight stories of

magic, love, death, and choice by some of

the newest names in young adult fiction.


Excerpt

Strike

Wendy Swore

& Rita J Webb

I shook my brown tangle of hair away from my face, tucking an errant curl behind my ear, and watched the distant coaster loop and dive. Playing in eddies and whirls, the wind carried delighted screams across the beach from carnival rides to the art exhibition. Hoards of classmates spent each weekend cavorting at the carnival—and that was fine for them—but I had no time or patience for such frivolity. As anyone serious about chasing their dreams could tell you, every moment mattered, and there was little time for foolish play.

The flier advertizing this exhibition highlighted Paloma’s work with Fulgurites and other sculpting methods involving electricity—just the sort of thing I needed to know to stand a chance at an art scholarship. If I played my cards right, I’d be the first Vera ever to finish college. Someday people would know my name.

Oh, is this one of Lani Vera’s pieces?

Why, yes. Yes, it is.

With enough hard work, all that would happen in time. I glanced at my watch; noon, exactly. Sighing, I folded my arms and waited for the presentation to begin.

A sandy-haired surfer leapt onto the podium and glanced around, smiling and waving at people. He danced a little shuffle to whatever tune he played on his MP3 and made a show of peeking at the crowd over his shades. His frayed cut-offs and sleeveless T-shirt revealed muscles rippling beneath tanned skin. He pulled the ear buds out and tucked the chords into his pocket before folding away the sunglasses and tossing them on the podium.

Who did this guy think he was? Where’s Paloma? I scanned the exhibit, spotting her in the first row, smiling and nodding, just a few seats down from me. Confused, I looked back at the boy at the podium. He had an easy laugh that made me want to smile back. I pressed my lips together and focused on the pad of paper I had in front of me, my pen poised to take notes. Goofing around wouldn’t get me anywhere.

“Can I have your attention? If you are here for flight lessons…you’re out of luck.” The crowd chuckled and his Cheshire grin widened. “However, if you would like to see how we use lightning and other electrical means to make unique sculptures, then today’s your lucky day. My name is Dex, and I’ll be your guide throughout the exhibit.”

My eyebrows shot up; this gorgeous guy is the presenter? How unexpected: a boy with looks and a brain at the same time.

Using a rod, he pointed to various pieces around the stage, explaining that by manipulating the electric currents to run through different mediums, intricate and per-manent scorch marks created unique works of art. A perfect blend of technical information and quick humor, his presentation captured my interest completely.

“This is her latest metal piece. It’s called A Leap of Faith.” He pointed to a sheet of copper that had two raised marks like wings and a black river below. “She says this is for those who see the danger of falling, but choose to leap anyway for the chance to fly.”

Beautiful but unrealistic.

I wondered if the winged being really understood what they’d lose if they fell. With so much at stake, flying wasn’t an option when you wanted to succeed.

He held up a root-like sculpture that shimmered in the sunlight. “The crème de la crème of the presentation. This, my friends, is a Fulgurite—a melted sand/glass formation formed by super-heated lightning hitting the sand. As you can see…” His eyes locked with mine.

Had I ever seen such stormy gray eyes?

He swallowed and paused.

What was he waiting for?

Something tickled my lip, and then I knew all too well what he had been staring at: I’d been chewing on my hair. What was I? Three? Mortification ripped through me, and I tucked the stupid curl back behind my ear. My ears burned. While his presentation hiccupped back to life, I struggled in vain to pretend nothing had happened.

Who would be the idiot chewing on her hair? Oh yeah, that would be me.

Setting the first sculpture aside, he held up the rod again. “Artists around the world encourage lightning to strike using rods like these so we can dig up the resulting formations. Water disperses the heat faster, so we drive our stakes in higher ground. If you would all please follow me up the beach.”

I fell in line behind him, trying not to watch the way his calves flexed with each step through the sand. Wrenching my gaze upward, I vowed to keep my mind on the work where it belonged.

I did such a good job of not-looking at him that when he stopped, I plowed into him.

He caught my shoulders and held me at arm’s length, those piercing gray eyes searching mine. “Sorry, are you okay?”

Choking on my humiliation, I nodded dumbly and stepped back several steps pretending my already flaming face hadn’t just turned into a furnace. And I had judged him to be a brainless teen? What about me? He must think I’m an idiot.

“Focus your attention on the rods here. In preparation for today’s early-morning lightning storm, my mom and I pounded these rods into the sand…” His voice finally broke through my reverie. My irritation racketed up a notch at the realization that I’d missed everything he’d said. This was why boys were a bad idea. They served only to distract and stood in the way of studies—and my future.

I breathed out in annoyance. I should pay more attention to the words coming out of his mouth and less at the way the breeze teased his hair, standing it on end.

His eyes darted to me again, and he stuttered, “Lightning actually…uh…a…actually moves from the ground up. The charge builds here in the soil and then—” He pointed to the rod and jerked back as blue light arced from the metal to his outstretched hand. Before he could step back, his whole body began to glow.

White light exploded, crackling through the air; burning as it filled my head with pressure. A blow like a sledgehammer hit my chest throwing me back as I screamed, the thunderous roar blasting my eardrums before I could think to clap my hands over them. I landed in a tangle of arms and legs.

Lightning. Dex had been struck by lightning!

50% of the February proceeds from the net sales of Transcendent will be donated to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

QMT

“You have to stay safe, Scar.  Maybe it’s your bits in a dress and maybe it’s just you, but I’m awful fond of something in there.  So don’t get killed.”

Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen

“Edda’s dark brown eyes lit up with her recognition, the skin around them scrunching into tiny wrinkle lines.”

Howl #1 by Jody & Jayme Morse

“Is it better to have had a good thing and lost it, or never to have had it?”

The Statistical Probability of Love at First sight by Jennifer E. Smith

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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One comment

  1. I loved A.C.’s advice and I totally agree with it. I had a lot of fun writing when I was a teen, but now that I’m older, I kind of look back at it and sort of cringe. It’s good writing and I still enjoy reading it – but there was definitely much I could improve on. Here’s to hoping my writing journey continues to be as fulfilling and wonderful as it is!

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